Health care utilization, lifestyle, and emotional factors and mammography practices in the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015 Nov;24(11):1699-706. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-14-1377. Epub 2015 Aug 24.


Background: Women with a history of chest radiotherapy have an increased risk of breast cancer; however, many do not undergo annual recommended screening mammography. We sought to characterize the relationship between mammography and potentially modifiable factors, with the goal of identifying targets for intervention to improve utilization.

Methods: Of 625 female participants sampled from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study, who were treated with chest radiotherapy, 551 responded to a survey about breast cancer screening practices. We used multivariate Poisson regression to assess several lifestyle and emotional factors, health care practices, and perceived breast cancer risk, in relation to reporting a screening mammogram within the last two years.

Results: Women who had a Papanicolaou test [prevalence ratio (PR): 1.77; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.26-2.49], and who perceived their breast cancer risk as higher than the average woman were more likely to have had a mammogram (PR, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.09-1.46). We detected an attenuated effect of echocardiogram screening [PR, 0.70; 95% CI (0.52-0.95)] on having a mammogram among older women compared with younger women. Smoking, obesity, physical activity, coping, and symptoms of depression and somatization were not associated with mammographic screening.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that compliance with routine and risk-based screening can be an important indicator of mammography in childhood cancer survivors. In addition, there is a need to ensure women understand their increased breast cancer risk, as a means to encouraging them to follow breast surveillance guidelines.

Impact: Screening encounters could be used to promote mammography compliance in this population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Attitude to Health
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Child
  • Delivery of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Electrocardiography / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Life Style
  • Mammography / psychology
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / psychology*
  • Papanicolaou Test / statistics & numerical data
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Stress, Psychological / epidemiology
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology
  • Survivors / psychology*
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data