Codes and Frequencies
For sample adults, BMHCAN reports whether the respondent's biological mother ever had cancer of any kind.
BMHCAN 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. For a full list of available cancer family history variables relating to biological mothers, see the variable description for BMBLCAN, which reports whether the respondent's biological mother ever had bladder cancer.
The Manuals for all years define "biological" relatives as people related by blood. Thus, a respondent's biological mother is a mother related to the respondent by blood (i.e., not a stepmother, adoptive mother, foster mother, or mother-in-law).
BMHCAN is fully comparable between 2005 and later years.
BMHCAN is largely comparable between 2000 and 2005 and later years, though there may be some difference in the meaning of "refused," "not ascertained," and "don't know" as used in 2000 compared to the meanings of those terms in 2005 and later years.
The Survey Descriptions for all years caution that while "all sample adults were to be asked the questions in the Cancer Control Module, some persons did not complete the supplement." In 2000, persons who answered less than 50 percent of the questions in the supplement had a value of "not ascertained" automatically inserted in the appropriate fields of the Cancer Control Module file, whereas in 2005 and later years, persons who answered none of the questions in the supplement had a value of "not ascertained" automatically inserted in the appropriate fields of the Cancer Control Module file.
- 2000; 2005; 2010; 2015: Sample adults aged 18+.
- 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015
- 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015 : SAMPWEIGHT