Informing persons that they have been exposed to a carcinogenic chemical (β-naphthylamine) may adversely affect these persons and their families. The purpose of this study was to identify and assess the psychological impact of a bladder cancer notification and screening program on persons at risk and their families. Approximately 140 subjects were randomly selected from 850 workers exposed to β-naphthylamine. The Family APGAR, Impact of Event Scale, and Improved Readability Form of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory were administered within four weeks of the initial medical screening and readministered six months later. Results show no evidence of disruption to families or substantive psychopathology among these persons. While the actual acquisition of cancer is undoubtedly a psychological trauma, mere notification of risk may not be traumatic in every situation.
Hornsby JL, Sappington JT, Mongan P, Gullen WH, Bono SF, Altekruse E. Risk for Bladder CancerPsychological Impact of Notification. JAMA. 1985;253(13):1899-1902. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350370095031