University of Virginia Researchers to Develop Personalized Breast Cancer Screening Model

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have received a $5.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs to develop a personalized risk model to determine how often women should have a mammogram based on individual risk factors.

Recommendations for breast cancer screening are typically made based solely on a woman’s age. But researchers will develop a model that includes factors such as personal and family history, women’s concerns about radiation exposure, and breast density. Researchers plan to spend three years developing the model and then to conduct a national study to determine its effectiveness. The aim is to have the model available for widespread use within five or six years.

Jennifer Harvey, associate professor of radiology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, is one of the lead researchers on the project. She earned her medical degree at the University of Arizona.

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