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UCSF researchers validate new model for breast cancer risk assessment in multiple ethnic groups
Date:3/4/2008

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco have developed a way to quickly estimate a woman's risk for invasive breast cancer. The new model, based on a measure of breast density that is already reported with the majority of mammograms today, is the first to be validated across multiple ethnic groups living in the United States.

The model could one day be used to help calculate a womans risk for breast cancer each time she has a mammogram, providing her with a realistic sense of her likelihood to develop breast cancer in the future.

Breast density is the strongest risk factor after age for developing breast cancer, said lead author Jeffrey Tice, MD, assistant professor in the Department of General Internal Medicine at UCSF. Unfortunately, there is no model currently available to clinicians for assessing breast cancer risk that includes this important risk factor. The model we have created could be a useful tool to improve breast cancer screening and prevention efforts and to help women better understand the magnitude of risk."

The findings are reported in the March 4, 2008 issue of The Annals of Internal Medicine.

The standard and most commonly used risk assessment model available to clinicians today is the Gail model, a previously validated breast cancer risk assessment tool that is primarily based on non-modifiable breast cancer risk factors. The Gail model was developed and validated in Caucasian women only. Tice and colleagues from UCSF and the University of Washington designed a new model that estimates predicted incidence of invasive breast cancer by using breast density, age and ethnicity. The estimates are then adjusted for family history of breast cancer and history of breast biopsy (whether or not a woman had undergone a previous biopsy for a suspect lump or lesion).

Physicians are used to calculating their patients risk for heart disease, but we dont routinely do it for breast cance
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Contact: Vanessa deGier
vdegier@pubaff.ucsf.edu
415-476-2557
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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