Objective: Mother-daughter communication may be a potential pathway between family history and cancer prevention behavior. We examined the degree to which mothers reported providing advice on breast cancer prevention to their daughters, the content of such advice, and correlates of providing such advice. Methods: Data were collected via a mailed questionnaire to 1773 women from 355 families in the Minnesota Breast Cancer Family Study. Women were asked whether or not they had provided advice to their daughters on what they should do to prevent breast cancer. An additional open-ended question asked them to describe the types of advice they had provided. Results: Nine hundred seventy-six (55%) of the women reported providing breast cancer prevention advice to their daughters. The most frequent types of advice were to have a mammogram (51%), perform breast self-examination (BSE) (39%), have a clinical breast examination (CBE) (30%), and maintain a healthy lifestyle (21%). From multivariate logistic regression, older age (p < 0.001), having a personal history of breast cancer (p < 0.001), higher degree of breast cancer worry/concern (p < 0.001), engaging in a higher number of health-promoting behaviors (p < 0.001), and ever performing a BSE (p = 0.04) were factors independently associated with the provision of advice. Analyses accounting for sample nonindependence did not change our results. Conclusions: Breast cancer prevention behaviors were associated with providing advice. By better understanding the pathways through which breast cancer family history is associated with screening mammography and other prevention behaviors, researchers can develop more effective, tailored prevention interventions at the family level.
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