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William J. Gradishar, MD, FACP, FASCO


EBCC 2022: Risk Prediction Model and Individualizing Breast Cancer Screening Strategies

By: Susan Reckling
Posted: Friday, November 18, 2022

Researchers from Spain and Norway have created a model for predicting individual breast cancer risk and believe it could be used to create individualized breast cancer screening strategies. The findings from this retrospective cohort study, which included more than 57,000 women, suggest the model may be useful in improving the risk-benefit balance of mammography screening programs. Javier Louro, BSc, MSc, PhD, of Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute, Barcelona, and colleagues recently presented these results at the 2022 European Breast Cancer Conference (EBCC; presentation number PB-022).

“Several breast cancer risk prediction models have been created, but we believe this is one of the first models designed to guide breast screening strategies over a person’s lifetime using real data from a screening program,” commented Dr. Louro in an EBCC press release. “This research shows how we might be able to identify people with a high risk of breast cancer, but equally how we could identify those with a low risk. So, it’s an important step toward personalized screening,” added Co-Chair of the EBCC, Laura Biganzoli, MD, of Santo Stefano Hospital, Prato, Italy, who was not involved in the research.

A total of 57,411 women screened as part of BreastScreen Norway between 2007 and 2019 were followed until 2022. (BreastScreen Norway is a national program that invites all women between the ages of 50 and 69 to undergo mammography every 2 years.) The researchers used data on the 10 known risk factors to estimate the women’s risks of developing breast cancer over 4 years. These factors were age, age at menarche, family history of breast cancer, previous benign breast disease, breast density, body mass index, exercise per week, pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy, and alcohol consumption. They compared these risk factors in women with and without a breast cancer diagnosis.

They found that the risk of developing breast cancer over the 4 years ranged from as low as 0.22% for some individuals and up to 7.43% for others; the median risk was 1.10%. Breast density was the variable that had a higher effect in the model.

Disclosure: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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