Title

Racial Differences in Perception of Breast Cancer Risk in Rural Southeast Georgia

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2006

Publication Title

Journal of the Georgia Public Health Association

Abstract

Background: A university-public health collaborative was formed to more fully understand cancer risk among rural women in Georgia.

Objectives: This study sought to gain an understanding of racial differences with regard to behavioral risk, perception of breast cancer risk, and perception of barriers to screening.

Design: Differences in subjects’ risk and risk perception were assessed by creating, piloting, and administering a written survey at local health departments. Sample: A purposive sample of females enrolled in breast and cervical cancer screening programs in four rural counties in southeast Georgia (n = 147) were surveyed. Subjects were randomly invited to participate. Incentives were provided to enhance participation.

Results: White females were significantly more likely than were black females to perceive pollution (OR: 4.63; p = 0.038), smoking (OR: 2.39; p = 0.018), age (OR: 3.01; p = 0.013), and hormone replacement therapy (OR: 3.17; p = 0.005) as factors influencing their breast cancer risk, and to perceive cost as a barrier to screening (OR: 2.89; p = 0.032). From a risk perspective, black females were more likely than white females to have had five-or-more pregnancies (p = 0.005), and to have given birth before age fifteen (p = 0.011).

Conclusions: This study provided important baseline data about breast cancer risk necessary in developing effective health promotion programs.