A turning point in Breast Cancer protection

Picture Editor - Sukey Richardson

By Cloe Grampa | @cloylimon
Sub-edited by Jasmine Wing | @jasminew_BN

A new system to assess the risk of breast cancer which looks at multiple health factors has been developed by Cancer Research UK early this January. This could constitute a turning point in breast cancer prevention.

Every year, around 55,000 women are diagnosed with Breast Cancer in the UK. Although complete prevention – which includes a mastectomy and the reconstruction of the breasts – has not been found yet, there are other tools to assess the risk of breast cancer.

The new risk assessment model combines a wider scope in regards to genetics, body weight, age, alcohol consumption and other contributing factors to give a more accurate outline of the risk of breast cancer and potentially decrease the chances of being affected.

Genetics

Some of the techniques used by doctors to assess the risks of breast cancer are based on genetics, specifically looking for the mutation of the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2. Genetics can be useful to assess the risk based on inheritance and family history. However, this assessment tool is not effective among individuals who do not carry that particular mutation but are still affected by cancer for hormonal causes or related to weight, age and the thickening of the breast tissue.

The model is currently being tested by private practices and some GPs, if it is successful it will be implemented routinely by the NHS.

This test could revolutionise the way doctors base the decision of treatment for the patient. The new method is more time efficient as one test will provide a deeper analysis of the chances of breast cancer. This will hopefully help doctors to not only treat cancer in the early stages but also prevent those at high risk of developing breast cancer.

Here at Breathe News, your opinion counts. Have you ever been tested for breast cancer? What do you think of the risk-assessment models? Do you think there should be more screening? Let us know at @breathenews on Instagram.

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