Background: So far, personalised prevention of breast cancer has focused on reducing incidence in the women at highest risk, yet most breast cancers occur in the majority of the population who are at about average, or only moderately increased risk (≤ moderate risk).
Objectives: To determine; 1) level of interest of women at ≤ moderate risk (consumers) in personalised information about breast cancer risk; 2) familial cancer clinicians’ perspective on managing women at ≤ moderate risk, and; 3) both consumers’ and clinicians’ reactions to iPrevent®, a personalised breast cancer risk assessment and risk management decision support tool.
Methods: Twenty-nine women recruited through Register4 (a web-based voluntary register) participated in five consumer focus groups held across metropolitan Melbourne. Twenty-two familial cancer clinicians recruited through a national conference participated in two focus groups. Data were analysed thematically to identify the main themes relevant to the objectives.
Results: Consumers expressed interest in learning about their personalised risk of breast cancer through an online tool, but less interest in attending a General Practitioner (GP) for this information. They also felt that, despite the ‘hype’ around breast cancer prevention, they lacked specific and tailored advice. Clinicians reported a recent increase in demand for counselling and advice from women at average and moderate risk, and a lack of providers willing and able to manage this group. All responded positively to the possibility of using iPrevent® in practice.
Conclusions: While highlighting the potentially positive role for iPrevent®, a number of outstanding issues were identified, specifically the need to: 1) increase women’s confidence in GP’s ability to advise on breast cancer risk; 2) gain consensus on who is best placed to manage women at moderately increased risk of breast cancer; 3) normalise the idea of individualised risk assessment and risk management for breast cancer.