A new model can predict a woman's risk of breast, ovarian and womb cancer

July 30, 2013, Public Library of Science

The probability (absolute risk) of a woman developing breast, ovarian, and endometrial (womb) cancer can all be predicted using easily obtainable information on known risk factors for these cancers, according to a study by US researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Ruth Pfeiffer from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, USA and colleagues from institutions throughout the US, developed statistical models based on risk factors of these three common cancers that could help with clinical decision making.

The authors developed these models by using information from two large US studies that included white, non-Hispanic women aged over 50 years and by including commonly known risk factors, such as parity (the number of children a women delivered), (an indicator of the amount of body fat), use of , and menopausal status and use of menopausal hormone therapy. The resulting models were able to predict individual women's risk of each cancer: for example, individual women's risk for endometrial cancer calculated using this model ranged from 0.5% to 29.5% over the next 20 years depending on their exposure to various risk factors.

The authors say: "These models predict absolute risks for breast, endometrial, and from easily obtainable risk factors and may assist in clinical decision-making."

They add: "Limitations are the modest discriminatory ability of the breast and ovarian models and that these models may not generalize to women of other races."

In an accompanying Perspective, Lars Holmberg from Uppsala University Hospital in Sweden and Andrew Vickers from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York (uninvolved in the study) support the focus of the model on helping with clinical-decision making and say: "Ruth Pfeiffer and colleagues present models for absolute risks and thereby avoid the common mistake of proclaiming a substantial relative risk as clinically relevant without considering the background risk."

Explore further: Large study reveals increased cancer risks associated with family history of the disease

More information: Pfeiffer RM, Park Y, Kreimer AR, Lacey JV Jr, Pee D, et al. (2013) Risk Prediction for Breast, Endometrial, and Ovarian Cancer in White Women Aged 50 y or Older: Derivation and Validation from Population-Based Cohort Studies. PLoS Med 10(7): e1001492. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.10014

Related Stories

Large study reveals increased cancer risks associated with family history of the disease

July 24, 2013
A family history of cancer increases the risk of other members of the family developing not only the same cancer (known as a concordant cancer) but also a different (discordant) cancer, according to a large study of 23,000 ...

New breast cancer risk model quantifies the impact of risk reduction

June 24, 2011
How much can a woman lower her risk of breast cancer by losing weight, drinking less, or exercising more? A study published online June 24 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute describes a new model to estimate ...

New DNA sequences hone in on breast, ovarian cancer risk

March 27, 2013
Researchers at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center have identified new DNA sequences associated with breast cancer—the most common cancer among women, with an average risk of developing the disease of 10 percent—and ovarian cancer, ...

Sex hormones linked to breast cancer risk in women under 50

July 24, 2013
Premenopausal women with high levels of sex hormones in their blood have an increased risk of breast cancer, an Oxford University study suggests, though further research is needed to understand this link.

Women's height linked to cancer risk

July 25, 2013
The taller a postmenopausal woman is, the greater her risk for developing cancer, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Study confirms long term benefits of tamoxifen

June 3, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Taking tamoxifen for 10 rather than five years halves the risk of women dying from the most common kind of breast cancer, according to new research being presented at this year's ASCO conference.

Recommended for you

Single blood test screens for eight cancer types

January 18, 2018
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types and helps identify the location of the cancer.

Researchers find a way to 'starve' cancer

January 18, 2018
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to starve a tumor and stop its growth with a newly discovered small compound that blocks uptake of the vital ...

How cancer metastasis happens: Researchers reveal a key mechanism

January 18, 2018
Cancer metastasis, the migration of cells from a primary tumor to form distant tumors in the body, can be triggered by a chronic leakage of DNA within tumor cells, according to a team led by Weill Cornell Medicine and Memorial ...

Modular gene enhancer promotes leukemia and regulates effectiveness of chemotherapy

January 18, 2018
Every day, billions of new blood cells are generated in the bone marrow. The gene Myc is known to play an important role in this process, and is also known to play a role in cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research ...

These foods may up your odds for colon cancer

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—Chowing down on red meat, white bread and sugar-laden drinks might increase your long-term risk of colon cancer, a new study suggests.

The pill lowers ovarian cancer risk, even for smokers

January 18, 2018
(HealthDay)—It's known that use of the birth control pill is tied to lower odds for ovarian cancer, but new research shows the benefit extends to smokers or women who are obese.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.