Familial Cancer

, Volume 5, Issue 4, pp 359–368 | Cite as

Screening behavior in women at increased familial risk for breast cancer

  • Yoland C. Antill
  • John Reynolds
  • Mary Anne Young
  •  ˙ Judy A. Kirk
  • Katherine M. Tucker
  • Tarli L. Bogtstra
  •  ˙ Shirley S. Wong
  •  ˙ Tracy E. Dudding
  • Juliana L. Di Iulio
  • Kelly-Anne Phillips
Original Paper


This multicenter study examined the adherence of high-risk women to screening recommendations for breast and ovarian cancer following consultation at a familial cancer clinic (FCC). Self-report questionnaires assessing recall of screening advice, tests undertaken, risk perception, anxiety (Impact of Events Scale) and demographics were mailed to 396 consecutive eligible women who had attended one of six FCCs a median of 3.6 years prior. Family history, genetic test results and screening recommendations were abstracted from medical records. 182/266 (68.4%) women responded with 130 lost to follow-up. The proportions of women undertaking at least the recommended frequency of screening tests were: breast␣self examination (BSE) 50.4%, clinical breast examination (CBE) 66.0%, mammography 82.2%, transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) 70.0%, CA125 84.0%. Factors associated with adherence to screening were: higher anxiety for BSE and CBE, being BRCA1/2 positive for CBE, older age, method of arrangement and having at least one affected first degree relative for mammography. Factors significantly associated with over-adherence were higher scores for anxiety for BSE and CBE and younger age (< 40 years) for TVUS. Between 41.3% (BSE) and 57.6% (CBE) of women incorrectly recalled their screening recommendations. A substantial minority of high-risk women do not adhere to screening advice. Strategies to improve the accuracy of recall of recommendations and the uptake of recommended screening are required.


BRCA1 BRCA2 Breast neoplasm Ovarian neoplasm Screening 



Familial Cancer Centre


Breast Self Examination


Clinical Breast Examination


Transvaginal Ultrasound


Breast Cancer


Ovarian Cancer


Carcinoma Intraepithelial Neoplasia


Confidence Interval




Australian Dollars






not applicable


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



We thank Jane Matthews and Bettina Meiser for assistance with protocol development, Geoff Lindeman, Lesley Andrews and Sheridan O’Donnell for data collection and Gillian Mitchell for critical review of an earlier version of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yoland C. Antill
    • 1
    • 3
  • John Reynolds
    • 2
  • Mary Anne Young
    • 1
  •  ˙ Judy A. Kirk
    • 4
  • Katherine M. Tucker
    • 5
  • Tarli L. Bogtstra
    • 6
  •  ˙ Shirley S. Wong
    • 7
  •  ˙ Tracy E. Dudding
    • 8
  • Juliana L. Di Iulio
    • 2
  • Kelly-Anne Phillips
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Hematology and Medical OncologyPeter MacCallum Cancer CentreMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Statistical Centre, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Locked Bag1, A'Beckett StMelbourneAustralia
  3. 3.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  4. 4.Westmead HospitalWestmeadAustralia
  5. 5.Prince of Wales HospitalRandwickAustralia
  6. 6.Monash Medical CentreClaytonAustralia
  7. 7.Royal Melbourne HospitalParkvilleAustralia
  8. 8.Hunter GeneticsNewCastleAustralia

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