Academic Consortium Develops the Online Breast Cancer Risk Calculator

The Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium, funded by the National Institutes of Health, has developed an online tool that allows women and their doctors the opportunity to predict their risk for developing breast cancer. Members of the consortium include researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, the University of California, Davis, the Group Health Research Institute, and the Mayo Clinic.

The new online Breast Cancer Risk Calculator can estimate five and 10-year risk for invasive breast cancer based on a woman’s age, race, ethnicity, family history, breast density, and breast biopsy history.

Charlotte Gard_2Charlotte Gard, an assistant professor of applied statistics in the College of Business at New Mexico State University, serves as a consultant to the consortium. Dr. Gard says that “our tool is unique in that it combines both breast density and breast biopsy results. I think it’s important that women can understand their risk of developing breast cancer, especially as women become more informed about their breast density.”

Dr. Gard notes that when measuring breast density “there is a lot of variability from radiologist to radiologist, and you could create a false sense of security or you could alarm women unnecessarily when reporting based on a single density measurement. The concern is that women are going to be informed of their breast density and they’re not going to know what to do with that information. So here’s something that we can give them that’s geared toward helping them better understand their risk and, with their physicians, determine what the best next steps are for them.”

The Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium Risk Calculator may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Women's Studies


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