Poster Presentation COSA-IPOS Joint Scientific Meeting 2012

Population survey on Swedish women’s attitudes towards tailored mammography screening based on individual risk for breast cancer (#456)

Marie Koitsalu 1 , Kamila Czene 1 , Mirjam Sprangers 2 , Yvonne Brandberg 3
  1. Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
  2. Medical Psychology, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  3. Oncology-Pathology, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden
Background: The ongoing Karma study aims to identify risk factors for breast cancer, including genetic factors, to tailor prevention programs ( However, little is known about the attitudes of women towards this approach. Thus, a web-based questionnaire was developed and pilot tested.Material and methods: 200 randomly selected women in Sweden between 20 and 70 years of age were sent a letter including information about the study and a log in to the web-based questionnaire. The questionnaire assessed women’s interest in getting information about personal risk for breast cancer, reasons for wanting or not wanting to know, willingness to convey personal information including blood for genetic analysis to the health care system, preferred ways to get the information about individual risk, and willingness to participate in screening programs based on individual breast cancer risk.Results: A total of 61 women responded. Most women (84%) reported that they were interested in getting knowledge about their breast cancer risk and listed ‘Avoid worrying’ as their major reason for wanting to know. A majority of them responded that they trust the healthcare system and feel comfortable in giving personal information, including blood for genetic testing (61% resp. 70%). Most women were not opposed to the idea of receiving their cancer risk information by a phone call or a letter, even though they preferred receiving the information during a consultation. 98% of the women could see themselves having mammograms no matter how often, whereas 84% could also see themselves having mammograms less than every two years.Conclusions: Women who consented to participate in this attitude study report a positive attitude towards breast cancer risk knowledge and are not opposed to the idea of personalized screening programs based on their individual risk profile. Since selection bias may have influenced our results, a larger population-based study has been launched, which takes every effort to increase the response rate.