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Mayo Clinic News Release: Mayo Clinic-led Study Improves Breast,Cancer Risk Prediction in Women with Atypia

cant as well. With one area of atypia, breast cancer risk was 2.3-fold compared to the general population; this risk more than doubled when two sites were found and increased to nearly eightfold as sites increased to three or more. The group of women with the highest risk had three or more areas of atypia and calcification -- with a 10.4-fold risk over the general population.

"With the ability to stratify the risk of breast cancer in women with atypia, we can have more informed discussions with our patients regarding their personal risk," says Dr. Degnim. "This will help us to have individualized discussions regarding how aggressively to pursue risk-reduction treatments."

These findings resulted from reviewing the records of 331 women with atypia identified within the Mayo cohort of 9,376 women who had benign breast biopsies surgically obtained between 1967 and 1991. More than half (55.9 percent) of the women were over age 55 when diagnosed with atypia, and 42.9 percent had a family history of breast cancer. The majority (68.6 percent) of women showed calcification in the biopsy tissue, and 40 percent had multiple sites of atypical hyperplasia.

The American Cancer Society reports that more than 240,000 women will be diagnosed in the United States this year with breast cancer, and more than 40,000 will die from it. Dr. Degnim and her fellow researchers have been working to better understand the steps that precede breast cancer and which of them can be recognized in benign breast tissue. The current study contributes to Mayo's emerging model that seeks to define every woman's risk more precisely and to tailor screening and risk-reduction measures to women depending on their individual risks.

Other Mayo researchers included senior author Lynn Hartmann, M.D.; Marlene Frost, Ph.D.; Robert Vierkant; Shaun Maloney; V. Shane Pankratz, Ph.D.; Piet de Groen, M.D.; Wilma Lingle, Ph.D.; Karthik Ghosh, M.D.; Lois Penheiter; L. Joseph Melton III, M.D.;
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