BACKGROUND: This study aims to investigate whether increased awareness of breast cancer, due to a positive family history (FH), reduces diagnostic, therapeutic, and survival differences between women of low versus high socio-economic status (SES). METHODS: All breast cancer patients registered between 1990 and 2005 at the population-based Geneva Cancer Registry were included. With multivariate logistic and Cox regression analysis, we estimated the impact of SES and FH on method of detection, treatment, and mortality from breast cancer. RESULTS: SES discrepancies in method of detection and suboptimal treatment, as seen among women without a FH, disappeared in the presence of a positive FH. SES differences in stage and survival remained regardless of the presence of a positive FH. Overall, positive FH was associated with better survival. This effect was the strongest in women of high SES (age-adjusted Hazard Ratio [HR(ageadj)] 0.54 [0.3-1.0]) but less pronounced in women of middle (0.77 [0.6-1.0]), and absent in women of low SES (0.80 [0.5-1.2]). CONCLUSION: A positive FH of breast cancer may reduce SES differences in access to screening and optimal treatment. However, even with better access to early detection and optimal treatment, women of low SES have higher risks of death from their disease than those of high SES.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Cancer Causes & Control|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2009|
- breast cancer
- family history