Researchers find better predictor of breast cancer

November 27, 2013
Researchers find better predictor of breast cancer
Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH, is one of the developers of the Rosner-Colditz statistical model, an improved method to predict a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer.

(Medical Xpress)—Epidemiologists have designed a better method to quantify a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and their collaborators. The model could help identify women at high risk of breast cancer who may benefit from prevention strategies that reduce the chances of developing the disease.

"Over the past 20 years, we have worked to develop a more complete model for classifying risk of ," said Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH, associate director for cancer prevention and control at Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University. "The next step is to incorporate it into clinical practice so we can improve prevention."

The model validation appears online in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment.

The Rosner-Colditz model for breast cancer considers well-established factors known to contribute to , including body mass index, alcohol consumption and age at first menstrual period. But the model also includes information not considered in other prediction methods, such as a woman's age at menopause and the type of menopause, whether natural or surgical (following the removal of ovaries).

According to the study, the Rosner-Colditz model outperforms the most commonly used model by 3 to 5 percent. The researchers verified the accuracy of their model using data from the California Teachers Study, which includes information about the development of breast cancer in more than 130,000 teachers over a 14-year period.

The model was most accurate for women ages 47 to 69 and for predicting the likelihood that a woman would develop breast cancer in the next five years. Similar to other models, the performance of the Rosner-Colditz model dropped off for women age 70 and older and for predicting breast over longer periods of time.

Colditz, who is also the Niess-Gain Professor of Surgery, said the is most useful for helping to stratify risk and identify women who are much more likely than average to receive a breast cancer diagnosis in the next five years.

"One-quarter of all breast cancer cases are diagnosed in the 10 percent of women at highest risk in any five-year age group," Colditz said. "These are the women who will benefit most from interventions that are known to reduce risk."

Interventions that reduce breast cancer risk include lifestyle changes such as weight loss and increased physical activity. Doctors who know they have a high-risk patient also have preventive options that include increased surveillance and treatments that influence the way the body uses or makes estrogen, such as drugs like tamoxifen, raloxifene and aromatase inhibitors.

Colditz said he and his colleagues are working to integrate this type of risk modeling into clinical care at the Joanne Knight Breast Health Center so that when a woman comes in for her yearly mammogram, she also is given an estimate of her risk of developing breast cancer over the next five years. The Knight Breast Health Center is part of the Siteman Cancer Center.

Explore further: Measuring hormones could help improve breast cancer risk prediction

More information: Rosner BA, Colditz GA, Hankinson SE, Sullivan-Halley J, Lacey Jr. JV, Bernstein L. Validation of Rosner-Colditz breast cancer incidence model using an independent data set, the California Teachers Study. Breast Cancer Research and Treatment. November 2013.

Related Stories

Measuring hormones could help improve breast cancer risk prediction

October 30, 2013
Including the levels of several hormones in currently used breast cancer risk prediction models improves prediction, and this could help better identify women who would benefit from chemoprevention, according to results presented ...

Girls who eat peanut butter may improve breast health later in life​​​​​

September 26, 2013
(Medical Xpress)—Here's some news worth spreading: Girls who eat more peanut butter could improve their breast health later in life.

School-age drinking increases breast cancer risk

August 28, 2013
Here's a sobering fact for millions of young women heading back to school: The more alcohol they drink before motherhood, the greater their risk of future breast cancer.

Lifestyle factors could put college-age women at higher risk of breast cancer

October 28, 2013
Breast cancer prevention needs to become a shared conversation among women of all ages as it can strike at any age, and is generally more aggressive when diagnosed in women under the age of 50. With hopes to spark that discussion, ...

Obesity found to be major risk factor in developing basal-like breast cancer

November 18, 2013
Women who are obese face an increased risk of developing an aggressive sub-type of breast cancer known as 'basal-like', according to research conducted at the University of North Carolina.

USPSTF: Offer breast CA risk-reducing Rx to high-risk patients

September 24, 2013
(HealthDay)—The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women at increased risk of breast cancer be prescribed tamoxifen or raloxifene for risk reduction, according to a final Recommendation Statement ...

Recommended for you

No dye: Cancer patients' gray hair darkened on immune drugs

July 21, 2017
Cancer patients' gray hair unexpectedly turned youthfully dark while taking novel drugs, and it has doctors scratching their heads.

Shooting the achilles heel of nervous system cancers

July 20, 2017
Virtually all cancer treatments used today also damage normal cells, causing the toxic side effects associated with cancer treatment. A cooperative research team led by researchers at Dartmouth's Norris Cotton Cancer Center ...

Molecular changes with age in normal breast tissue are linked to cancer-related changes

July 20, 2017
Several known factors are associated with a higher risk of breast cancer including increasing age, being overweight after menopause, alcohol intake, and family history. However, the underlying biologic mechanisms through ...

Immune-cell numbers predict response to combination immunotherapy in melanoma

July 20, 2017
Whether a melanoma patient will better respond to a single immunotherapy drug or two in combination depends on the abundance of certain white blood cells within their tumors, according to a new study conducted by UC San Francisco ...

Discovery could lead to better results for patients undergoing radiation

July 19, 2017
More than half of cancer patients undergo radiotherapy, in which high doses of radiation are aimed at diseased tissue to kill cancer cells. But due to a phenomenon known as radiation-induced bystander effect (RIBE), in which ...

Definitive genomic study reveals alterations driving most medulloblastoma brain tumors

July 19, 2017
The most comprehensive analysis yet of medulloblastoma has identified genomic changes responsible for more than 75 percent of the brain tumors, including two new suspected cancer genes that were found exclusively in the least ...

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.