New tool calculates breast cancer risk with greater precision

(Lianne Kolirin/ CNN) — UK scientists have developed an online calculator that could enable doctors to more accurately predict a patient’s chance of developing breast cancer.

If rolled out, the new tool could change the way in which the condition is treated.

Among other things, details of family history, genetics, weight, alcohol consumption, age at menopause and use of hormone replacement therapy will all be considered by doctors when assessing a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer — the most common form of cancer in the UK.

Each of these factors has “a small impact on the likelihood of developing the disease,” according to the study published in the journal Genetics in Medicine. But combining them paints a better picture and enables doctors to work out how risks may differ between different women. (…)

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