While the relationship between perceived risk and breast cancer screening use has been studied extensively, most studies are cross-sectional. We prospectively examined this relationship among 913 women, aged 25-72 with varying levels of familial breast cancer risk from the Ontario site of the Breast Cancer Family Registry. Associations between perceived lifetime breast cancer risk and subsequent use of mammography, clinical breast examination (CBE) and genetic testing were assessed using logistic regression. Overall, perceived risk did not predict subsequent use of mammography, CBE or genetic testing. Among women at moderate/high familial risk, those reporting a perceived risk greater than 50% were significantly less likely to have a CBE (odds ratio (OR) = 0.52, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.30-0.91, p = 0.04), and non-significantly less likely to have a mammogram (OR = 0.70, 95% CI: 0.40-1.20, p = 0.70) or genetic test (OR = 0.61, 95% CI: 0.34-1.10, p = 0.09) compared to women reporting a perceived risk of 50%. In contrast, among women at low familial risk, those reporting a perceived risk greater than 50% were non-significantly more likely to have a mammogram (OR = 1.13, 95% CI: 0.59-2.16, p = 0.78), CBE (OR = 1.11, 95% CI: 0.63-1.95, p = 0.74) or genetic test (OR = 1.29, 95% CI: 0.50-3.33, p = 0.35) compared to women reporting a perceived risk of 50%. Perceived risk did not significantly predict screening use overall, however this relationship may be moderated by level of familial risk. Results may inform risk education and management strategies for women with varying levels of familial breast cancer risk.
Keywords: Breast cancer; Breast cancer screening; Familial risk; Perceived risk.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.