Experiencing the cancer of a loved one influences decision-making for breast cancer prevention.

Padamsee TJ, Muraveva A, Yee LD, Wills CE, Paskett ED
J Health Psychol in press 1359105317746480 12/01/2017


Prior research demonstrates that family history influences breast cancer prevention decisions among healthy women at elevated risk of the disease. Drawing on in-depth interviews with 50 African American and White women, this study reveals an important psychological mechanism of this relationship: exposure to cancer among loved ones. Four distinct categories of cancer exposure (Abstract, Generalized, Practical, and Traumatic), distinguished by the characteristics of women's experiences with cancer among family members and close friends, are associated with differences in knowledge and decisions about breast cancer prevention options. Racial differences and distinct experiences among those with BRCA mutations are also discussed.

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