Personality variables and prediction of breast cancer

Cancer is the second leading cause of death among women in the United States, and breast cancer kills more women than any other type of cancer. This study is an attempt to utilize personality variables to determine which women have a high risk of developing cancer of the breast. To achieve this end, a group of 115 women with either breast cancer, benign breast growths, or no growths was administered a relatively short, simple personality inventory, the Guilford-Zimmerman Temperament Survey. The personality variables, along with age, were utilized in successive multiple linear regressions until a relationship was achieved which appeared to have discriminatory value. The final regression equation was: Y = 21.7418- .0579A + .0481G- .0476R- .1036F + .028T where A = age G = general activity R = restraint F = friendliness T=thoughtfulness Using an arbitrary cut off score of 18.2, through the use of the equation 87.5 percent of the women with cancer were successfully identified as belonging to the cancer group and 50 percent of the normal patients were correctly identified as noncancerous. Of the group of patients with benign growths, half were identified as cancerous and half as normal. The goal of differentiating between women with and without breast cancer was achieved for this particular group of women with about half of the contribution made by the personality variables and the remainder by age.