Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New breast cancer risk model quantifies the impact of risk reduction

Date:
June 27, 2011
Source:
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
Summary:
How much can a woman lower her risk of breast cancer by losing weight, drinking less, or exercising more? A study describes a new model to estimate the impact of these lifestyle changes.

How much can a woman lower her risk of breast cancer by losing weight, drinking less, or exercising more? A study published online June 24 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute describes a new model to estimate the impact of these lifestyle changes on absolute breast cancer risk, suggesting risk reductions that could translate into a substantial number of prevented cancers across an entire population.

Breast cancer risk models are widely used to estimate a woman's chances of developing the disease. These are based on non-modifiable risk factors such as age and family history of breast cancer and on modifiable lifestyle factors. But there is little information on how much lifestyle changes would reduce absolute breast cancer risk in individuals and in the population.

In this study, Elisabetta Petracci, Ph.D., and Mitchell Gail, M.D., Ph.D., at the National Cancer Institute and colleagues developed the model using data from an Italian case-control study with more than 5,000 women. Their model includes five risk factors that are difficult or impossible to modify (reproductive characteristics, education, occupational activity, family history, and biopsy history) and three risk factors that are more modifiable (alcohol consumption, leisure physical activity, and body mass index).

The model predicted that changes in the more modifiable risk factors would reduce the absolute risk of developing breast cancer by quantifiable amounts. The average 20-year reduction in absolute risk among women aged 65 was 1.6% in the entire population; 3.2% among women with a positive family history of breast cancer; and 4.1% among women with the most non-modifiable risk factors.

The authors note that the results may help in designing programs aimed at encouraging lifestyle changes. For instance, in a general population of 1 million women, even a 1.6% absolute risk reduction amounts to 16,000 fewer cases of cancer. In contrast, a 3.2% reduction in a higher-risk group--postmenopausal women with a family history--amounts to only 2,560 fewer cases, according to the model.

The authors conclude that these results give perspective on the potential public health impact of reducing exposure to such risk factors and could be useful for designing studies to test the efficacy of prevention programs.

In an accompanying editorial, Kathy J. Helzlsouer, M.D., of Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore writes that the study "provides extremely important information relevant to counseling women on how much risk reduction they can expect by changing behaviors, and also highlights the basic public health concept that small changes in individual risk can translate into a meaningful reduction in disease in a large population." However, she also points out that these estimates are based on optimistic assumptions of changes in behaviors and that the results do not necessarily apply to people in other countries, such as the U.S., where breast cancer rates among older women are much higher than in Italy.

"These differences, however, serve to emphasize the need for models such as these to be created on the basis of local data to provide the best estimates of risk to aid decision making, whether for the individual or the population in public health settings," she writes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Elisabetta Petracci, Adriano Decarli, Catherine Schairer, Ruth M. Pfeiffer, David Pee, Giovanna Masala, Domenico Palli and Mitchell H. Gail. Risk Factor Modification and Projections of Absolute Breast Cancer Risk. J Natl Cancer Inst, June 24, 2011 DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djr172
  2. Kathy J. Helzlsouer. The Numbers Game: The Risky Business of Projecting Risk. J Natl Cancer Inst, June 24, 2011 DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djr222

Cite This Page:

Journal of the National Cancer Institute. "New breast cancer risk model quantifies the impact of risk reduction." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110624163158.htm>.
Journal of the National Cancer Institute. (2011, June 27). New breast cancer risk model quantifies the impact of risk reduction. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110624163158.htm
Journal of the National Cancer Institute. "New breast cancer risk model quantifies the impact of risk reduction." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110624163158.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

California Passes 'yes-Means-Yes' Campus Sexual Assault Bill

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 30, 2014) California lawmakers pass a bill requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on campuses. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

New Drug Could Reduce Cardiovascular Deaths

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) The new drug from Novartis could reduce cardiovascular deaths by 20 percent compared to other similar drugs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins