Women's Views on Multifactorial Breast Cancer Risk Assessment and Risk-Stratified Screening: A Population-Based Survey from Four Provinces in Canada

J Pers Med. 2021 Feb 2;11(2):95. doi: 10.3390/jpm11020095.


Risk-stratified screening for breast cancer (BC) is increasingly considered as a promising approach. However, its implementation is challenging and needs to be acceptable to women. We examined Canadian women's attitudes towards, comfort level about, and willingness to take part in BC risk-stratified screening. We conducted an online survey in women aged 30 to 69 years in four Canadian provinces. In total, 4293 women completed the questionnaire (response rate of 63%). The majority of women (63.5% to 72.8%) expressed favorable attitudes towards BC risk-stratified screening. Most women reported that they would be comfortable providing personal and genetic information for BC risk assessment (61.5% to 67.4%) and showed a willingness to have their BC risk assessed if offered (74.8%). Most women (85.9%) would also accept an increase in screening frequency if they were at higher risk, but fewer (49.3%) would accept a reduction in screening frequency if they were at lower risk. There were few differences by province; however, outcomes varied by age, education level, marital status, income, perceived risk, history of BC, prior mammography, and history of genetic test for BC (all p ≤ 0.01). Risk-based BC screening using multifactorial risk assessment appears to be acceptable to most women. This suggests that the implementation of this approach is likely to be well-supported by Canadian women.

Keywords: breast cancer; population survey; precision prevention; risk-stratified screening; women’s per-spectives.