There are many risk factors associated with the development of breast cancer. These include: carriers of the BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 genes, a family history of breast cancer, a prior history of breast cancer, a history of atypical proliferation found on prior biopsy, papillomatosis, early menses, late menopause, late first pregnancy or nulliparity, long term HRT use, obesity, and prior history of radiation therapy in this area.
The NCI sponsored Gail Risk Index Assessment tool is used to determine individual risk for developing breast cancer. It takes into account the woman’s age, race, biopsy history, family history, menstrual history, and child bearing history. It is a statistical model that compares women of the same race and age. This is a very important part of a patient’s history and will help determine her five year and lifetime risks and whether high-risk surveillance is warranted. Click here to assess your risk.
There are also the Tyrer-Cuzick, BRCApro, and the Hughes risk application models available for risk assessment. Furthermore, MD Anderson has a risk stratification algorhythm that can also be used to identify high risk women.