Predicting Breast Cancer Risk
Posted: October 2019
Since 2013, the Washington Women’s Center has included a breast cancer
risk assessment as part of its standard mammography screening. This assessment,
based on the Gail Model, uses the statistical analysis of invasive breast
cancer within various populations to determine an individual’s risk
over a set period of time.
About the Risk Assessment Tool
Developed more than two decades ago by the
NCI Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, the
Gail Model Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool has since helped millions of women understand their unique breast cancer
risk using biodata, such as:
- Age at the start of menstruation
- Age at first live birth of a child
- Number of first-degree relatives (mother, sisters, daughters) with breast cancer
- Number of previous breast biopsies (whether positive or negative)
- Presence of atypical hyperplasia in a biopsy
Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool
If you would like to take the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool provided
by the National Cancer Institute, click
Notes and Limitations of the Tool
following studies were used in developing this statistical model and assessment tool:
- The Breast Cancer Detection Demonstration Project (BCDDP), which studied
280,000 white women aged 35 to 74 years, and from the NCI Surveillance,
Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program.
- The Women’s Contraceptive and Reproductive Experiences (CARE) Study
and from SEER data, which included 1,607 black/African America women with
invasive breast cancer and 1,637 without.
- Asian-American Breast Cancer Study (AABCS) and SEER data, which included
597 Asian and Pacific Islander women with invasive breast cancer and 966 without.
- The San Francisco Bay Area Breast Cancer Study (SFBCS) and the California
Cancer Registry and SEER Program, which included 1,086 Hispanic women
with invasive breast cancer and 1,411 without.
While this tool has shown to provide accurate estimates of breast cancer
risk in white women, it may underestimate risk among black/African American
women with previous biopsies, as well as non-native Hispanic women. Researchers
are actively collecting data in these subgroups to improve results.
To learn more about the Washington Women's Center, click
here. To contact a Washington Hospital Nurse Navigator, call
Posted October, 2019