Article by Jennifer Tjia, Ellyn Micco, and Katrina Armstrong in the journal Breast Cancer Res Treat (Issue 108, 2008, 435-453).
Objectives: The study aim is to describe interest in breast cancer chemoprevention among older women without a history of breast cancer and to determine whether aging related factors such as diminished life expectancy, increasing comorbidity and medication burden attenuate chemoprevention interest.
Design: Cross-sectional survey.
Setting: University of Pennsylvania Health System.
Participants: Four-hundred fifty-seven community dwelling women aged 60–65 years old who were potentially eligible for breast cancer chemoprevention according to guidelines linking risk and eligibility to age.
Measurements: Interest in breast cancer chemoprevention, Gail model breast cancer risk, perceived breast cancer risk, breast cancer worry, self-reported health status and comorbidities, and self-reported perceived life expectancy.
Results: Of 457 participants, 11.2% reported being interested in taking chemoprevention, 40.9% reported no interest, and 47.9% reported being unsure about their interest in chemoprevention. Overall, interest in chemoprevention was not associated with individual Gail model breast cancer risk. In adjusted analysis, lack of interest among high-risk women was associated with low breast cancer worry and low perceived risk. Conversely, interest in chemoprevention among low risk women was associated with greater breast cancer worry. Age-related factors hypothesized to affect chemoprevention interest, including subjective life expectancy, increased comorbidity, and number of daily medications did not attenuate chemoprevention interest.
Conclusion: Breast cancer worry and perceived breast cancer risk contribute to the lack of correlation between interest in breast cancer chemoprevention and objective breast cancer risk. Perceived life expectancy, increased comorbidity, and medication burden do not attenuate chemoprevention interest among older women.