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Risk Assessment Tools For Breast Cancer Are Improving

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A new article discussed that all the available breast cancer risk assessment tools are limited in the matter of distinguishing between individuals who will develop breast cancer and those who won't. The article was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

However, there are a number of risk assessment tools available now which can predict the amount of risk and so can determine the prevention strategies that are required. The authors of this review, led by Eitan Amir, M.B. Ch.B., of Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, wrote "For clinicians, it is imperative that a risk assessment tool has a good ability to assess individual risks so that appropriate preventative treatment can be individually tailored,"

Studies have shown that up to 60% of breast cancers arise in the absence of any known risk factors such as age, family history, age at menopause, likelihood of carrying a BRCA gene mutation. Now studies are looking at extra risk factors, particularly breast density, weight gain, and hormone levels. Authors write "Steady and incremental improvement in the models are being made, but these changes require revalidation."

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