Empowering Women to Prevent Breast Cancer: Research Agenda and Preliminary Findings
Tasleem Padamsee, Ohio State University
One in eight U.S. women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, and this risk can rise to 60% or higher for women with mutations of the BRCA1/2 genes or a strong family history of the disease. Effective mechanisms (prophylactic mastectomy, chemoprevention, enhanced surveillance, and others) exist to prevent breast cancer among these women, but we have very limited knowledge of how women choose among their options; which women choose which methods; or the psychosocial impacts of these processes. This paper has two central goals. First, it articulates a research agenda to illuminate relationships among decision-making factors, prevention choices, and health outcomes for various subgroups. Second, it reports early findings from research with African-American and non-Hispanic White women facing elevated risk of breast cancer. Ultimately, this body of work will pave the way for design of tailored interventions that support women’s ability to make empowered, health-protective prevention choices.