Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Behavior Changes after Breast Cancer Diagnosis: Racial Differences and Their Implications
by Rajasekhar, Kavita, M.P.H., Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, 2014, 39; 1556193
Abstract (Summary)

Breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among women (apart from skin cancers). African American (AA) women have lower rates of breast cancer, but higher mortality from the disease. Tertiary prevention may play a role in improving survivorship. Lifestyle changes after diagnosis have been studied, with conflicting evidence on the direction of behavior change, as well as the successful maintenance of outcomes. In this secondary data analysis study, we utilized the Behavior Change data set of The Women's Circle of Health Study (WCHS), with 1599 cases of breast cancer diagnoses among women (both AA and European American (EA) in the New York City metropolitan area and northern New Jersey). Raw data from the `Behavior Change Section'--a survey subset from the WCHS--was converted into scores of `healthy/positive behavior change'. While both groups made positive behavior changes, a significantly greater percentage of AA made positive/healthy dietary (intake of fruits, vegetables, fats, meat) behavior changes compared to EA women (p<0.001). More AA women made positive changes related to tobacco use (p<0.001) and alcohol consumption (p=0.029). The current analysis did not assess an intervention, motivations for change, or health outcomes. Programs promoting decreased tobacco and alcohol consumption and healthy weight management may be an impetus for such change. Future research may focus efforts on AA, with additional attention to health care issues apart from lifestyle--including access to health care-- as this group has higher rates of breast cancer mortality. Characterizing the behaviors before and after diagnosis may be even more useful in determining the course of change for women with breast cancer.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Jandorf, Lina
Commitee: Doucette, John, Senay, Emily
School: Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Department: Public Health
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: MAI 52/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Social research, Behavioral psychology, Medicine, Public health, Ethnic studies, Oncology
Keywords: Breast cancer, Change, Diet, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Race
Publication Number: 1556193
ISBN: 978-1-303-90966-5
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