Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Simple online calculator helps women determine their risk of breast cancer

The Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium claims the calculator can give women their percentage chance of developing breast cancer based on a few simple questions

Doug Bolton
Thursday 01 October 2015 22:26 BST
Comments
Important precautions include avoiding excessive exposure to the sun, which can cause skin cancer, including melanoma, which can be fatal.
Important precautions include avoiding excessive exposure to the sun, which can cause skin cancer, including melanoma, which can be fatal. (ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

An American breast cancer group is claiming that their online calculator can help determine a woman's risk of developing breast cancer based on a few simple health questions.

The Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) risk calculator asks women to input some information about themselves - their age, their ethnicity, whether there is a risk of breast cancer in their family, previous biopsy results and breast density - and claims to be able to let them know roughly their percentage chances of developing breast cancer in the next five or 10 years.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Dr Charlotte Gard, a consultant at the BCSC said that the tool is unique, because it takes into account details about both breast density and biopsy results.

Dr Gard believes the calculator can determine the rough risk of breast cancer from a few simple details (Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium)

Breast density can be measured during mammograms, and measurements range from mostly fatty tissue to very dense tissue.

Women with higher density breasts are more at risk from breast cancer, so including this measurement in the calculator makes it a useful tool for women and doctors.

Dr Gard told the paper it is important that women know what to do with information about their breast density when it is measured during a mammogram.

She said the calculator was "something that we can give them that's geared toward helping them better understand their risk and, with their physicians, determine what the best next steps are for them."

The breast cancer survival rate in the UK has significantly increased in recent years, with 78 per cent of those diagnosed living for 10 years or more.

However, there are more than 50,000 new cases a year, and 11,716 deaths in 2012, according to figures from Cancer Research UK.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in