Objective: To explore perceived risk of breast cancer among Korean women and to investigate factors associated with perceived risk of breast cancer. Methods: A telephone survey using random digit dialing was conducted with an age- and region-stratified random sample of women in Korea. The study population consisted of 1000 women who participated in telephone surveys in which a 21-item questionnaire was administered. Results: This study showed a significant level of comparative optimism in breast cancer risk perception in Korean women with an average risk of breast cancer. According to the multivariate analysis, younger age, family history of breast cancer, and history of benign breast disease were the factors associated with higher perceived comparative risk of breast cancer. Conclusion: The finding that a limited number of breast cancer risk factors were related to perceived risk of breast cancer is worrying because women with other risk factors for breast cancer may believe themselves to be at lower risk. Practice implications: It is necessary for women to understand their risk factor profiles to avoid biased optimism or pessimism.
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