A Pilot Study of Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Knowledge Among a Multiethnic Group of Hispanic Women with a Personal or Family History of Cancer

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Purpose: To examine knowledge about hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) among Mexican, Puerto Rican, and Cuban women.

Methods: Women (age range, 18–65 years) with a personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer were recruited to a mixed methods study using community-based approaches. Fifty-three women participated in the study: 16 Mexicans, 20 Puerto Ricans, and 17 Cubans. The majority of women (64.2%) were born outside the United States. All questions were interviewer administered in Spanish or English. HBOC knowledge was measured using an 11-item instrument developed by the National Center for Human Genome Research. We evaluated whether differences in knowledge varied as a function of Hispanic subethnicity, demographic characteristics, and medical and acculturation characteristics using a series of one-way analysis of variances.

Results: The percentage of correct responses on the knowledge instrument ranged from 9.4% to 73.6% (median number of correct responses = 45%). Knowledge did not significantly differ by Hispanic subethnicity (p = 0.51). Exploratory analysis revealed lower knowledge in women with a personal history of cancer (p = 0.03).

Conclusion: Our study provides important information about characteristics associated with lower levels of knowledge and specific areas related to HBOC where additional education may be warranted in the Hispanic community.

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Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers, v. 14, issue 1, p. 99-106

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