October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Do you know your risk?

Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Reconstructive options
Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Reconstructive options
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 12:45 PM CDT
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(WSAW) - Many women with a family history of breast cancer have long been able to obtain a personal assessment of their unique risk of breast cancer. On average, a woman has a 1 in 8 chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime. And for some women, that chance is even higher.

To date, however, not all women have been able to obtain a breast cancer risk assessment that takes into account their genetic markers, clinical and biological variables, personal and family history of cancer, and ancestry-specific data. Black women, for example, have been unable to fully benefit from such assessments, even though they’re twice as likely to die from breast cancer than women of European descent.

The challenge has been that the genetic markers used to calculate the risk of developing breast cancer are not distributed evenly across all populations. When risk testing is based on genetic markers found in people of a certain ancestry, the results are less reliable for people of other ancestries.

To get more accurate results for everyone, risk scoring had to be re-engineered to account for the frequency of different genetic markers in various populations.

Now, a new assessment is available that does just that – helping ensure that all women at risk of hereditary breast cancer can benefit from potentially lifesaving genetic insights. This new assessment can:

  • Create a 5-year and lifetime risk prediction of breast cancer
  • Help inform healthcare decisions
  • Potentially reduce disparities among those at risk of breast cancer

For more information, visit

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