SEVERE WX : Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts
CLOSINGS: View Closings

New tool calculates breast cancer risk with greater precision

UK scientists have developed an online calculator that could enable doctors to more accurately predict a pat...

Posted: Jan 15, 2019 4:04 PM
Updated: Jan 15, 2019 4:04 PM

UK scientists have developed an online calculator that could enable doctors to more accurately predict a patient's chance of developing breast cancer.

If rolled out, the new tool could change the way in which the condition is treated.

Breast cancer screening

Cancer screening and detection

Health and medical

Medical diagnostics, screening and testing

Alcoholic beverages

Beverages

Biology

Breast cancer

Business and industry sectors

Business, economy and trade

Cancer

Consumer products

Deaths and fatalities

Demographic groups

Diseases and disorders

Females (demographic group)

Food and drink

Genetics

Kinds of foods and beverages

Medical fields and specialties

Population and demographics

Science

Society

Continents and regions

Europe

Northern Europe

United Kingdom

Among other things, details of family history, genetics, weight, alcohol consumption, age at menopause and use of hormone replacement therapy will all be considered by doctors when assessing a woman's risk of developing breast cancer -- the most common form of cancer in the UK.

Each of these factors has "a small impact on the likelihood of developing the disease," according to the study published Tuesday in the journal Genetics in Medicine. But combining them paints a better picture and enables doctors to work out how risks may differ between different women.

The result is more precise than ever before, as more than 300 genetic indicators have been taken into account, says Cancer Research UK who co-led the study.

"This is the first time that anyone has combined so many elements into one breast cancer prediction tool," said the study's lead author, Antonis Antoniou, Professor of Cancer Risk Prediction at Cambridge in a statement.

Around 627,000 women died from breast cancer worldwide in 2018, according to the World Health Organization.

It is the most common cancer in women in the United States, where about 41,000 women and 450 men die each year from the disease, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In the UK, 55,000 women and 350 men will be told that they have the disease this year. The country has one of the lowest breast cancer survival rates in Western Europe and around 11,500 women are likely to die of the condition in 2019.

The online calculator is currently being tested by some general practitioners, practice nurses and genetic counselors in the UK, as well as in France and Germany, before being considered for wider use. If rolled out more widely, Antoniou believes it could have a huge impact.

"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," he said in a statement to CNN.

The UK's current system of screening and prevention to reduce morbidity and mortality from breast cancer focuses on more frequent mammograms and the use of chemo-prevention drugs, like tamoxifen, for women considered high-risk. These patients are identified through family history or screening of genes like BRCA1 and BRCA2.

But according to the researchers, a broad range of factors affect a person's level of risk of developing breast cancer and should be taken into account.

Medical professionals currently trialing the online tool are prompted to answer a series of questions about their patient, including their medical and family history, whether they have any known genetic alterations linked to cancer, their weight and whether they drink alcohol.

The results would potentially allow for personalized screening programs, based on the individual's calculated risk. For example, it may determine at what age the patient is first invited for a breast screening and how frequent subsequent appointments are.

Professor Douglas Easton, professor of genetic epidemiology at Cambridge, worked closely with Antoniou. He told CNN that the current pilot would likely last for a year or two, after which it would hopefully be rolled out.

He said: "Some of the components have been in place for some time, such as predicting the risk in terms of family history and some of the known genetic indicators."

"What's new here is that we are combining this information with all the other factors. That hasn't been done before in a reliable way.

"We will obviously be following up the women in the pilot, but we have quite a lot of information already to know that the model is accurate so we are fairly confident that it predicts the right result."

He believes the new tool will help doctors to tailor the care they provide depending on their patient's level of risk. "For example, some women may need additional appointments with their doctor to discuss screening or prevention options and others may just need advice on their lifestyle and diet," he said.

"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."

Dr Richard Roope, clinical lead for cancer at Cancer Research UK 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.

"Although having an increased risk of breast cancer means a woman is more likely to develop the disease -- it's by no means a certainty. A woman at high risk may never get breast cancer just as a woman at low risk still could.

Dr Luca Magnani, a senior research fellow from the department of surgery & cancer at Imperial College London, who wasn't involved in the study, cautiously welcomed the development.

"This risk calculator is obviously an advance to what is currently done in the clinic," he told CNN. "The researchers have now summarized all previous knowledge under one roof, basically combining all known risk factors for breast cancer into one model. The nice thing about this is that it combines risk factors of a very different nature, say genetic, hormone exposure and lifestyle in general."

"Overall," he cautioned, "it is going to be essential to test this tool in prospective patients to show how effective is this strategy compared to current standard."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 276500

Reported Deaths: 3321
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin590031089
Ramsey24988472
Anoka19724213
Dakota19215176
Washington12538106
Stearns1226689
Scott753854
St. Louis740897
Wright663436
Olmsted610130
Sherburne512539
Clay445155
Carver409712
Blue Earth373511
Rice361431
Kandiyohi348215
Crow Wing316130
Nobles296028
Chisago28398
Otter Tail266615
Benton261940
Winona246128
Mower236722
Polk228621
Douglas219829
Morrison211621
Lyon193711
McLeod18879
Beltrami184615
Goodhue177626
Becker17559
Itasca168924
Steele16756
Todd165312
Isanti165015
Carlton153610
Nicollet146523
Freeborn13935
Mille Lacs132830
Le Sueur13219
Waseca129710
Cass12018
Pine11926
Brown117510
Meeker10797
Roseau9923
Martin98220
Hubbard97022
Wabasha9121
Dodge7850
Redwood78018
Watonwan7754
Chippewa7697
Sibley7094
Renville70818
Cottonwood7060
Wadena7006
Aitkin68923
Pipestone67018
Rock6439
Houston6152
Fillmore6050
Yellow Medicine56611
Pennington5356
Kanabec52911
Murray5283
Swift4976
Pope4820
Faribault4750
Stevens4442
Clearwater4356
Marshall4277
Jackson4091
Lake3584
Unassigned34356
Koochiching3325
Wilkin3275
Lac qui Parle3203
Lincoln3141
Norman3096
Big Stone2771
Mahnomen2494
Grant2346
Red Lake1903
Kittson1856
Traverse1330
Lake of the Woods871
Cook580

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 213603

Reported Deaths: 2193
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk31707324
Linn13442161
Scott1040375
Black Hawk10393127
Woodbury9932114
Johnson911635
Dubuque879290
Story647619
Dallas602856
Pottawattamie585166
Sioux351925
Webster335930
Marshall332942
Cerro Gordo326541
Clinton307737
Buena Vista291114
Muscatine270366
Des Moines270116
Plymouth259537
Warren258510
Wapello242871
Jones222212
Jasper206639
Marion194418
Carroll190920
Lee190315
Bremer182612
Henry17087
Crawford170615
Benton160315
Tama146340
Jackson13758
Delaware136221
Washington131313
Boone128811
Dickinson127510
Mahaska121327
Wright11625
Buchanan11009
Page10834
Hardin107510
Clay10624
Clayton10234
Harrison102328
Hamilton10157
Cedar101413
Calhoun10047
Mills9886
Fayette9768
Floyd96914
Lyon9668
Kossuth9464
Poweshiek93712
Butler9134
Winneshiek90310
Iowa88011
Winnebago87523
Louisa81316
Hancock8067
Grundy79710
Chickasaw7893
Sac7817
Cherokee7624
Cass75419
Appanoose7426
Shelby7265
Allamakee72411
Mitchell7184
Union7096
Guthrie70815
Emmet70623
Franklin68419
Humboldt6645
Madison6474
Jefferson6351
Palo Alto6064
Unassigned5950
Keokuk5397
Pocahontas5192
Howard5069
Greene4980
Osceola4941
Clarke4614
Davis4405
Ida43910
Montgomery43210
Taylor4312
Monroe42912
Adair4157
Monona3932
Fremont3463
Van Buren3364
Worth3360
Lucas3076
Decatur3000
Wayne2876
Audubon2831
Ringgold1892
Adams1551
Rochester
Overcast
32° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 25°
Mason City
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 31°
Albert Lea
36° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 36°
Austin
36° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 36°
Charles City
Overcast
36° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 29°
Drier Conditions For Thanksgiving Day
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Sean's Weather 11/24

Image

Coat and Face mask distribution at United Way Freeborn County

Image

Rochester International Airport prepares for Thanksgiving travel

Image

Aaron's Monday Night Forecast

Image

TIC preseason projections

Image

Austin Bruins announce weekend plans

Image

Teams begin to navigate the pause on sports

Image

Rochester to create liquor license fee relief program

Image

A "Thank You" to health care workers

Image

Business operators react to Governor's latest plans

Community Events