Timelines for breast cancer screenings unchanged

Scientists report that breast cancer risk assessment models, which predict a woman's chance of developing breast cancer, do not perform substantially better when they include common inherited genetic variants recently linked to the disease. Therefore, recommendations for breast cancer screening or treatments will remain unchanged for most women.The study, led by investigators from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) appears in the March 18 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. "Unlike the situation for women with a strong family history of breast cancer, in which a search for rare disease-causing variants may be useful, for women without a strong family history breast cancer risk prediction based on common risk variants is currently of marginal utility," said lead author David Hunter, dean for academic affairs and Vincent L. Gregory professor in cancer prevention at HSPH.

********** Published: March 26, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 49