September 10, 2013

Know Your Breast Cancer Risk

Breast Cancer Risk

A study presented at the 2013 Breast Cancer Symposium found 90.6% of women lack accurate knowledge of their own breast cancer risk.  15,004 women, aged 35 to 70, who were undergoing breast cancer screening at 21 mammography centers in New York, were surveyed in an anonymous study.  They completed a 25 question survey about their demographics, personal risk factors, and health history and were asked to quantify their own breast cancer risk by the age of 90 years.


Many questions were adapted from the online interactive National Cancer Institute Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool.  Researchers then compared the calculated actual lifetime risk compared to the individual's subjective risk estimate.  Overall, only 9.4% of respondents were in line with their risk, 44.7% underestimated their risk and 45.9% overestimated their risk.

While there were some statistical differences between groups, overall understanding was low, and almost 40% of those surveyed had never discussed their personal breast cancer risk with their physician.  To underscore the importance for women to know their personal risk, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recently encouraged women with increased risk to consider, with their physician, preventive therapy.


Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309

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