Cancer Control Research5R03CA108360-02
HEALTH BEHAVIORS AND FAMILY HISTORY OF COLORECTAL CANCER
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): While there is convincing epidemiologic evidence that a family history of colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the strongest risk factors for developing CRC, there has been little investigation of the behavioral aspects of CRC familial risk. To date, studies of at-risk relatives of CRC patients have focused on interest in genetic testing, and to a lesser extent, CRC screening. There is a gap in the literature with regard to the patterns of health behaviors in relatives of CRC patients, even though the report of the NCI Colorectal Cancer Progress Review Group states that there is a clear need for research in this area. We propose to undertake extensive secondary data analyses using data collected from the NIH-sponsored Cooperative Family Registries for Colorectal Cancer Studies (the CFRs). We will compare individuals at varying levels of familial CRC risk: 1. High-risk (3 or more lst/2nd degree relatives affected by CRC); 2. Moderate risk (1 or 2 affected relatives) and 3. Population-risk controls (no affected relatives). The health behaviors that will be compared include CRC screening, aspirin/NSAID use, smoking, alcohol intake, diet pattern, and dietary supplement use. Since CRC affects men and women equally, we will also examine potential gender differences in these health behaviors across familial risk levels. Finally, we will explore potential clustering of health behaviors across levels of familial risk. It is important to first determine what relationships exist between family history and health behaviors before embarking on in-depth investigations of how and why those relationships exist. Thus, the results of these comparisons will be used to 1) develop testable hypotheses and 2) build on a conceptual framework that will be used to guide future in-depth behavioral studies and intervention studies of CRC prevention and familial risk.