Perceptions of cancer risk and self-care practices: comparison of groups at different risk for cancers
R Fielding1, WWT Lam1, QY Liao1, CL Lai2, JWH Tsang3, D Ip1, MF Yuen2
1 School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong
2 Department of Medicine, University of Hong Kong Medical Centre, Queen Mary Hospital
3 Department of Clinical Oncology, Queen Mary Hospital
1. Groups with predisposing risk factors generally perceived themselves to have a higher susceptibility to the cancers to which they were vulnerable, with the exception of female passive smokers.
2. Nonetheless, in predisposed individuals, their perceived higher susceptibility to cancer remains markedly lower than their actual risk derived from current risk projection. Over 60% of smokers, hepatitis B (HBsAg) carriers, and female relatives of breast cancer patients underestimated their risk of cancer relative to that derived from current risk projections.
3. HBsAg carriers and female relatives of breast cancer patients reported a higher optimism score compared with other groups and lived a healthier lifestyle, whereas smokers were more likely to be regular drinkers and consumed less fruit and vegetables.
4. Optimism was positively associated with adopting measures to maintain health.