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How to Calculate Breast Cancer Risk Factors

Atool has been invented to help women calculate their personal breast cancer risk. The tool is called the “Gail Model,” named for Dr. Mitchell Gail. The model takes a lady’s history and utilizations this to evaluate the danger of breast cancer.

By gathering the information used for the Gail Model tool and talking with your doctor, you can gain a better understanding of your personal breast cancer risk factors.


How to Calculate Breast Cancer Risk Factors

Breast Cancer Risk


Gather your medical records and highlight your history of any lobular carcinoma or ductal carcinoma. These carcinomas increase the risk factors for breast cancer while making it hard to calculate your risk of breast cancer without discussing your individual case with a physician.

Factor your age into the equation. As women grow older, the risk of breast cancer increases. The Gail Model for determining breast cancer risk does not start to accurately calculate your risk until after age 35. While this in no way means women (or men) under the age of 35 will not get breast cancer, the risk is better determined after that point.

Determine the age when you had your first menstrual period. The earlier a woman first had her menstrual period, the longer her body has been producing estrogen. Increased estrogen is a risk factor for breast cancer, with women having their first menstrual cycle before their 13th birthday more at risk for breast cancer.

Recall your age at the time of your first pregnancy and delivery. Ideally a woman’s first pregnancy will take place after the age of 20 and before the age of 30. Not having children at all is also an increased risk for breast cancer.

Complete an immediate-family tree for the females in your family. It is only necessary to review the medical history of mothers, sisters and daughters. Having an immediate family member who has had breast cancer increases your risk of developing it.

Gather your history of past breast biopsies, if any. The actual biopsy will not cause breast cancer, but the reason the physician took a specimen in the first place means there were changes in the breast that could be a risk factor.

Review your ethnicity with your doctor to determine if your race increases your risk. Research on ethnicity and links to breast cancer is still being compiled and interpreted. Early research shows there is only a slight variation in calculating the risks of breast cancer from one ethnicity to another.


Tips & Warnings

  • Only a doctor can diagnose breast cancer. Please see your doctor if you feel you have symptoms of breast cancer.


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