Breast cancer is considered the most common cancer in women in both the US and the UK. Statistically, one in eight women or 12% of the American women population will develop breast cancer in their life. Although this type of cancer is usually found in women, men are not entirely safe.
The first sign that you have breast cancer is when a lump in the breast is found. In the early stages, this cancer is often curable. This is why knowing if you’re at risk can help you prepare for such occurrence.
The Breast Cancer Risk Calculator
There is a risk calculator that you can use online to find out if you have high chances of developing breast cancer for the next five to 10 years. The tool was developed by the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium and was tested in over one million women in the United States. Primarily, the goal was for the interactive tool to help women discover whether they are prone to this type of cancer or not in the next five years. But quite recently, the tool has been updated and can now predict invasive cancer risk for up to 10 years.
Before you begin using the risk calculator, you should take note of the following guidelines:
- You should be 35 to 74 years old when you use the tool.
- You should have not been diagnosed with breast cancer as well as ductal carcinoma in situ or DCIS
- You have not undergone any type of breast surgery, including mastectomy and breast augmentation.
How the Tool Works
The risk calculator for breast cancer is derived from the top risk factors:
- Age: The risk of a person increases as he or she ages. About one in eight breast cancers are in women who are 45 years and under. Meanwhile, two out of three women have the cancer when they reach 55 and up.
- Race and Ethnicity: According to statistics, white women have higher chances of developing the cancer than African-American women. However, the latter race is more likely to die due to this cancer.
- Family History: Breast cancer risk is higher in women whose family member has been diagnosed with this cancer.
- Personal History: Those who have undergone breast biopsies due to a benign breast condition often have a higher risk.
- Breast Density: The higher the breast density, the higher the chance of developing the cancer.
The risk calculator can be found in the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium’s website where you can answer the simple questionnaire and you can have the results right after completing the form.