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Andy Tan, colleagues, published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention

Wednesday, January 02, 2013


Andy S.L. Tan

The article “An Analysis of the Association Between Cancer-Related Information Seeking and Adherence to Breast Cancer Surveillance Procedures” has been published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention (online, November 2012). The work is by Annenberg doctoral Student Andy S.L. Tan, Mihaela Moldovan-Johnson, Ph.D. (Nebraska Dept. of Health and Human Services); Stacy W. Gray, MD (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston); Robert C. Hornik, Ph.D., the Wilbur Schramm Professor of Communication at Annenberg; and Katrina Armstrong, MD (Leonard Davis Institute).
 
Abstract
 
Background: Breast cancer surveillance is important for women with a known history of breast cancer. However, relatively little is known about the prevalence and determinants of adherence to surveillance procedures, including associations with seeking of cancer-related information from medical and nonmedical sources.
 
Methods: We conducted a longitudinal cohort study of breast cancer patients diagnosed in Pennsylvania in 2005. Our main analyses included 352 women who were eligible for surveillance and participated in both baseline (∼1 year after cancer diagnosis) and follow-up surveys. Outcomes were self-reported doctor visits and physical examination, mammography, and breast self-examination (BSE) at 1-year follow-up.
 
Results: Most women underwent two or more physical examinations according to recommended guidelines (85%). For mammography, 56% of women were adherent (one mammogram in a year) while 39% reported possible overuse (two or more mammograms). Approximately 60% of respondents reported regular BSE (≥5 times in a year). Controlling for potential confounders, higher levels of cancer-related information seeking from nonmedical sources at baseline was associated with regular BSE (OR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.01–2.29; P, 0.046). There was no significant association between information-seeking behaviors from medical or nonmedical sources and surveillance with physical examination or mammography.
 
Conclusions: Seeking cancer-related information from nonmedical sources is associated with regular BSE, a surveillance behavior that is not consistently recommended by professional organizations.
 
Impact: Findings from this study will inform clinicians on the contribution of active information seeking toward breast cancer survivors’ adherence to different surveillance behaviors.


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