Scientists have created the most comprehensive method yet to predict a woman’s risk of breast cancer, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Cambridge. The study, funded by Cancer Research, is published today in Genetics in Medicine.
It could be a game changer for breast cancer because now we can identify large numbers of women with different levels of risk – not just women who are at high risk
They have a developed a way of calculating the risk of developing the disease by combining information on family history and genetics with other factors such as weight, age at menopause, alcohol consumption and use of hormone replacement therapy.
Although individually some of these things have a small impact on the likelihood of developing the disease, researchers found that by considering all of them at once, plus family history and genetics, they can identify groups of women who have different risks of developing breast cancer.
Importantly, for the first time, researchers have taken into account more than 300 genetic indicators for breast cancer. This makes calculating the risk much more precise than ever before.
From this, the researchers have created an online calculator for GPs to use in their surgeries.
Some GPs, practice nurses and genetic counsellors are testing this tool before it is considered for wider use. Doctors are prompted to answer a series of online questions about their patient including their medical and family history, whether they have any known genetic alterations linked to cancer, their weight and whether they drink alcohol.
In the future, information like this could help to tailor breast cancer screening depending on an individual’s risk. For example, it could help determine what age they are first invited for breast screening or how regularly they are invited to receive it.
The risk calculation could also help people to make decisions about preventative therapy – such as identifying women at high risk who may benefit from taking the drug tamoxifen – as well as encouraging women to think about the ways they could reduce the risk themselves, for example trying to keep a healthy weight.
Professor Antonis Antoniou, lead author at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, said: “This is the first time that anyone has combined so many elements into one breast cancer prediction tool. It could be a game changer for breast cancer because now we can identify large numbers of women with different levels of risk – not just women who are at high risk.
“This should help doctors to tailor the care they provide depending on their patients’ level of risk. For example, some women may need additional appointments with their doctor to discuss screening or prevention options and others may just need advice on their lifestyle and diet.
“We hope this means more people can be diagnosed early and survive their disease for longer, but more research and trials are needed before we will fully understand how this could be used.”
Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. Nearly 55,000 women are diagnosed with the disease each year. But a large proportion of breast cancer cases occur in people who are at an increased risk. Cancer Research UK has helped to double breast cancer survival over the last 40 years.
Dr Richard Roope, Cancer Research UK’s GP expert, said: “Research like this is hugely exciting because in the future it will enable us to offer much more tailored care which will benefit patients and make best use of the services that we have available.
“Although having an increased risk of breast cancer means a woman is more likely to develop the disease – it’s by no means a certainty. A woman at high risk may never get breast cancer just as a woman at low risk still could. But any woman with concerns should speak to her GP to discuss the options.”
The Latest on: Breast cancer
via Google News
The Latest on: Breast cancer
- New recommendations say not all women need genetic testing for cancer on February 19, 2019 at 10:40 am
(CNN) - Primary care providers should screen women for personal, family and/or ethnic history of breast, ovarian, tubal or peritoneal cancer to decide who should undergo genetic counseling for BRCA1 a... […]
- Oncotype DX not cost-effective for low-risk breast cancer on February 19, 2019 at 10:22 am
(HealthDay)—The multigene expression test Oncotype DX (ODX) is not cost-effective for women with breast cancer who are at low risk for recurrence, according to research published online Jan. 22 ... […]
- Cancer Survivorship: Who Are You Going To Tell? on February 19, 2019 at 10:17 am
which is going to result in more cancer treatment—a prophylactic double mastectomy. I also chose breast reconstruction (still in process) because, well, I just wanted to look "normal." If you think it ... […]
- Researcher earns federal grant to study molecule's potential as cancer drug target on February 19, 2019 at 10:01 am
OKLAHOMA CITY -- The tragic irony about breast cancer is that patients usually don't die because of the initial tumor, but when the cancer metastasizes. That reality drives researchers to find a way t... […]
- Local business supporting breast cancer organization on February 19, 2019 at 9:35 am
This post was contributed by a community member. Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC), the state's leading breast cancer organization dedicated to prevention, will be hosting several ... […]
- Should you get tested for the 'Breast cancer genes'? on February 19, 2019 at 9:24 am
(HealthDay)—Women who have specific mutations in genes known as BRCA are at increased risk for breast and ovarian cancers. Now, an influential expert panel reaffirms that certain women should be ... […]
- BLUMENFIELD DECLARES FEBRUARY 19 ‘JILLIAN BARBERIE BREAST CANCER AWARENESS DAY’ IN CITY OF LOS ANGELES on February 19, 2019 at 8:14 am
LOS ANGELES, CA – Today Councilmember Bob Blumenfield celebrated and honored local media legend Jillian Barberie by declaring February 19, ‘Jillian Barberie Breast Cancer Awareness Day’ in the City of ... […]
- New study establishes how stress favors breast cancer growth and spread on February 19, 2019 at 2:24 am
Cancer: The word alone evokes dread, anxiety, and fear. Accordingly, many women living with the disease and undergoing treatment experience chronic stress and depression. Scientists have demonstrated, ... […]
- Local tattoo artist helps breast cancer survivors with healing process on February 18, 2019 at 9:32 pm
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - An Albuquerque tattoo artist is helping breast cancer survivors by providing them with artwork that gives them a piece of their identity back. Jespah Torres has been tattooi... […]
- Breast Surgeons Seek Genetic Testing for All Patients With Breast Cancer on February 18, 2019 at 2:27 pm
The update follows a study published in November that found almost no difference in the frequency of mutations between patients with breast cancer who met National Comprehensive Cancer Network guideli... […]
via Bing News