Tools that Help Women Assess Breast Cancer Risk

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Sep 01, 2014
Quick Bites

  • Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women.
  • Know:BRCA helps women to assess risk for breast cancer.
  • Gail Model takes a woman's history to estimate breast cancer cancer.
  • There is also a tool to properly classify breast cancer subtypes.

Breast cancer is by far the most common type of cancer in women across the globe. The incidence has been rising upreally fast in the last few years. According to IARC Globocan (2008), there are about 1.38 million new cases and 458, 000 deaths from breast cancer each year.


breast cancer risk


Most of the breast cancer deaths could be decreased if it is detected and treated early. The World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that two components of early detection have been shown to improve cancer mortality – education (know-how of early signs of cancer and seeking prompt medical attention for symptoms) and screening programs (including mammography for breast cancer).


Tools that can help diagnose Breast Cancer


A report published in the bulletin of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest a new tool that can help women assess risk for hereditary breast cancer. Besides, the tool may also help detect ovarian cancer.

There are two genes that are linked with breast cancer risk – BRCA1 and BRCA2. In case of mutation (change) of any of these genes, breast and ovarian cancer risk increases. The new Know:BRCA tool can help women learn about their BRCA genes and assess the chances of having a BRCA mutation.

The tool helps you learn about breast cancer risk and if you are at risk, it helps your doctor to make important decisions about your health. After learning that you have a BRCA gene mutation, the doctor can suggest lifestyle changes and other recommendations to reduce your risk.


Gail Model

Gail Model, named after the inventor Dr. Mitchell Gail, is a tool that helps women calculate their breast cancer risk.  It takes a woman's medical history and uses this to estimate the risk of breast cancer.


A tool to Classify Breast Cancer Subtypes

Researchers at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute have discovered a tool discovered to help properly classify breast cancer subtypes. According to the researchers involved in the study, the tool could help to also improve target treatments for the disease. The discovery has laid the foundation for the generation of a clinical test to assign tumors to IntClust subtypes.

In the trials, the researchers considered close to 997 tumour samples and how they developed their new system based on 7,544 samples from a public database. Findings suggest that the new system was excellent for predicting patients' prognosis and response to treatment as previously existing systems. The detailed findings were published in the peer-reviewed journal Genome Biology.


Apart from awareness about breast cancer, women can take some steps to prevent the cancer's risk. Adhering to a healthy lifestyle, eating a well-rounded diet, getting regular checkups and reducing alcohol consumption can help with early detection and reduce the chances of getting the disease.



Read more articles on Breast Cancer.



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