In this article we examine intuitive dimensions of personal cancer risk

In this article we examine intuitive dimensions of personal cancer risk likelihood which theory and empirical evidence indicate may be important elements in the risk perception process. construct analyses. We found that the most reliable Mmp17 two factors within the five-factor solution were Cognitive Causation tapping beliefs that risk thoughts Dienogest may encourage cancer development and Negative Affect in Risk assessing negative feelings generated during the risk perception process. For these factors there were high levels of item endorsement especially Dienogest in minority groups and only modest associations with established cancer risk perception and worry assessments indicating novel content. These items may prove useful in measuring and comparing intuitive cancer risk perceptions across diverse population subgroups. from diverse Dienogest populations since approaches to managing uncertainty in general (Hofstede 2001 and the health risk perception process in particular probably differ across cultures (Huerta and Macario 1999 Francois (University Students N=568) The first and strongest factor keys into beliefs about irreducible uncertainties regarding whether any one person might get cancer. These items include the following: ‘Anybody can get cancer no matter what they do’ (UC1) ‘Cancer can strike anyone at Dienogest any time’ (UC2) ‘You never know who is going to get cancer’ (UC3) ‘Cancer is a random thing’ (UC4) and ‘There is no way to know whether I might get cancer in the future’ (UC5). The fourth factor assesses beliefs around the extent to which cancer development is controllable. These items include: ‘If I follow my doctor’s advice I can greatly reduce my chances of getting cancer’ (PR1) ‘There isn’t much anyone can do to control whether they get cancer or not’ (PR2) ‘Those who lead healthy lives get cancer just as often as those who don’t have healthy lifestyles’ (PR3) ‘I don’t believe there is much I can do to avoid getting cancer’ (PR4) and ‘There are a lot of things I can do to reduce my cancer risk’ (PR5). Finally the fifth factor taps beliefs around the potential negative outcomes associated with being too optimistic about avoiding cancer. These items include: ‘Believing that I won’t get cancer could be risky’ (DP2) and ‘I don’t want to be over-confident that I can avoid cancer’ (DP3). The descriptive findings for each item are shown in Table 3. Of note three items (CC8-CC10) were not included in the Community Men sample as this survey was in the field when these items were suggested by the expert team. Endorsement (agree/strongly agree) was highest for items relating to Unpredictability of Cancer and lowest for items concerning Cognitive Causation. Yet endorsement for Cognitive Causation items was greater than expected. Cognitive Causation items were endorsed most highly in Urban Primary Care group and at lower but not negligible levels in the University and Community Men groups. For example a sizable minority of participants agreed that if they think too hard about the possibility of getting cancer they could get it (19 per cent Urban Primary Care; 13 per cent University; 6 per cent Community Men). As well nearly a fifth (18 to 20 per cent across University and Community Men samples) agreed that being hopeful about their cancer risk might protect them from getting it as well as nearly half of Urban Primary Care participants (46 per cent). Table 3 Item endorsement labels and scale reliabilities Endorsement for the Negative Affect in Risk items was much higher than for Cognitive Causation items. Most participants agreed that thinking about their chances of getting cancer made them uncomfortable (56 per cent to 70 per cent across samples). Similarly some items tapping the factor Defensive Pessimism were endorsed by most participants. For instance 70 per cent to 79 per cent across samples agreed that they did not want to be over-confident that they could avoid cancer. Finally study participants saw cancer as both unpreventable and preventable in seemingly contradictory ways. Thus 85 per cent or more within each sample agreed that anybody could get cancer no matter what s/he does; yet a similar proportion (83 per cent or more) agreed that there were a lot of things s/he could do to reduce cancer risk. Items comprising factors 3-5 (Unpredictability of Cancer Preventability and Defensive Pessimism) showed consistent.