Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed a comprehensive model to calculate the risk of developing breast cancer.
This calculation model was developed in a study conducted by the researchers of the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge to predict the risk of breast cancer in women.
The study is funded by the Cancer Research and the research is published in Genetics in Medicine journal on January 15, 2019.
The scientists combined a few genetic and non-genetic risk factors of the women. The information on genetics, weight, age at menopause, family history, alcohol consumption, and other factors were incorporated during the calculation.
By merging such factors, scientists can figure out the various levels of risk of breast cancer in women. The calculation of the risk is believed to be accurate than other methods. More than 300 genetic indicators will be considered by the researchers in this method.
The scientists named this model as the ‘Breast and Ovarian Analysis of Disease Incidence and Carrier Estimation Algorithm (BOADICEA)’ risk model that combines the effects of polygenic risk scores along with other risk factors.
The model permits to identify the highest and lowest risk in individuals systematically. From this research, an online risk calculator has been created by the researchers for the use of doctors and surgeons.
Antonis Antoniou, the lead author at the University of Cambridge said, “It could be a game changer for breast cancer because now we can identify large numbers of women with different levels of risk - not just women who are at high risk.”
Antoniou further added, “We hope this means more people can be diagnosed early and survive their disease for longer, but more research and trials are needed before we will fully understand how this could be used.”
However, the Cancer Research UK’s expert, Dr Richard Roope said, “Research like this is hugely exciting because in the future it will enable us to offer much more tailored care which will benefit patients and make best use of the services that we have available.”
Breast cancer has become one of the most common disease. Among all the women who are diagnosed with breast cancer, most of them are above the age of 50. This disease is even found in men. According to analysis, it is one of the main reason of deaths in women who are aged 34 to 54.
Breast cancer occurs when a malignant tumor grows in the breast cells. This tumor can invade in the nearby tissues. It can also spread in other body areas. The most common symptom of breast cancer is thickening in the breast tissue.
Women who are at an increased risk get breast cancer earlier than others. The Cancer Research UK has developed tools and devices over the years to increase the survival rate of breast cancer patients.
The online breast cancer risk calculator developed by the researchers is under testing. Before it is made available for all, many doctors, surgeons, nurses and genetic counsellors are going to examine the tool themself.
The information collected on this tool is reported to be of great help. The data can be used to modify breast cancer screening based on its risk.
It will be more beneficial as with the help of estimated risk of breast cancer, a patient can make preventive decisions. Women at high risk can be cured by preventive actions or adopting healthy lifestyle to evade the risk of breast cancer.