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Unsafe Environmental Contaminants and Breast Cancer: Website Advisories, Media News Coverage, and Women’s Risk Perceptions Charles Atkin, Sandi Smith, Pam Whitten, Kami Silk & Lauren Hamel Michigan State University. BC Content Emphasis: Similar for Web & Traditional Media

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slide1
Unsafe Environmental Contaminants and Breast Cancer: Website Advisories, Media News Coverage, and Women’s Risk Perceptions

Charles Atkin, Sandi Smith, Pam Whitten, Kami Silk & Lauren Hamel

Michigan State University

slide2

BC Content Emphasis:

Similar for Web & Traditional Media

Treatment >Detection> Prevention

Within prevention: Collective > Individual

Within individual: Genetics > Environment

coders evaluated sites based on key healthcom prevention theories
Coders* evaluated sites based on key healthcom prevention theories
  • Theory of Planned Behavior (Azjen)

Attitudes, norms, & perceived behavior control

  • Extended Parallel Processing Model (Witte)

Perceived threat, self efficacy, response efficacy

  • Transtheoretical Model(Prochaska)

Stages of change

there s some contamination content
There’s some contamination content…
  • Does the website have a section to inform users about anything in the environment that increases a person's chances of getting breast cancer?

31% of all BC websites

exposures to bc messages past year
# Exposures to BC Messages (past year)
  • 9 TV public service spots
  • 8 Magazine stories
  • 8 TV newscast stories
  • 7 Newspaper news/feature items
  • 4 TV talk shows/dramas

90% saw stories in traditional media

20% searched internet

Statewide survey N=250 females (2004)

channels for learning useful bc info
Channels for learning useful BC info

68% TV newscasts

68% Women’s magazines

67% Newspaper articles

65% Pamphlets

63% TV PSAs

60% TV talk shows

National survey N=250 females (2007)

secondary channels
Secondary channels…
  • 43% Newsmagazines
  • 30% Internet websites
  • 29% TV dramas
credibility of bc info channels 0 10 scale
Credibility of BC Info Channels (0-10 scale)
  • 7 Newspapers
  • 6 Newsmagazines
  • 6 TV newscasts
  • 5 Health websites

Statewide survey N=250 females (2004)

who seeks bc info
Who seeks BC info?

TRADITIONAL MEDIA: Broad cross section

INTERNET: Concerned women, Activists

-- Web traffic primarily driven by diagnosis

-- Activists focus on organized action

most visited bc websites
Most-visited BC websites
  • breastcancer.org
  • komen.org
  • cancer.gov

(webmd & acs)

Lower rank for contaminant-oriented sites:

  • silentspring.org
  • envirocancer.cornell.edu
breastcancer org
Breastcancer.org

Antiperspirants Do Not Increase BC Risk

  • Background and study design: The rumor that using underarm deodorant or antiperspirant can cause breast cancer has circulated for years on the Internet….
  • Take-home message: Hopefully, this study will help to calm women's fears about antiperspirant and deodorant use and breast cancer….
credibility of bc sources 0 10 scale
Credibility of BC Sources(0-10 scale)
  • 10 American Cancer Society
  • 9 Federal agencies
  • 9 Medical centers
  • 9 Komen Foundation
  • 8 Universities
women s perceptions of bc risk factors 0 10 scale
Women’s Perceptions of BC Risk Factors (0-10 scale)

9 Smoking cigarettes

9 Genetics / Family history

7 Hormone Replacement Therapy

7 Secondhand smoke

6 High-fat foods in childhood

6 Obesity in childhood

4 Chemicals / Pesticides 

weak relationships between bc website visits and
Weak relationships between BC website visits and…

…level of concern about contaminants

…encouraging daughter to avoid pesticides

…encouraging daughter to avoid

household chemicals

National survey N=250 females (2007)

implications
Implications…
  • Need “better” BC websites:

esp. Enhance in line with healthcom theory

  • Need to organize content according to distinct motivations of audience segments
  • Need to use traditional media to drive the majority to websites (esp. enhanced sites)