Codes and Frequencies
For sample adults whose biological father ever had head and neck cancer (BFHNCAN), BFAHNCAN reports whether the respondent's biological father was under 50 years of age when first diagnosed with head and neck cancer.
In 2015, due to low frequencies among family members, cancers of the esophagus, larynx-windpipe, Mouth/tongue/lip and throat-pharynx were removed from the NHIS public use file to maintain respondent confidentiality. To maintain continuity of data analyses using these cancers the "head and neck cancer" variable was created. Researchers may choose to recode the component cancers variables (BFAESCAN, BFALWCAN, BFAMTCAN, and BFATPCAN) in 2000, 2005 and 2010 to mimic the "head and neck cancer" variables in 2015.
BFAHNCAN is one of a series of related variables in the "Family History" section of the 2000 and later Cancer Modules. In all years, this section begins with the general comment:
According to the 2000 and 2005 Field Representative's Manuals, the purpose of this and other family cancer history questions is to "determine the prevalence of cancer in families in the population" to "allow a greater understanding of how data obtained from genetics clinics can be applied to the general population." The 2010 and later Manuals provide a similar rationale, stating that the collection of these data "will allow analysts a greater understanding of how family history relates to cancer.
The Manuals for all years define "biological" relatives as people related by blood. Thus, a respondent's biological father is a father related to the respondent by blood (i.e., not a stepfather, adoptive father, foster father, or father-in-law).
- 2015: Sample adults aged 18 and older whose biological father ever had head and neck cancer.
- 2015 : SAMPWEIGHT