IT’S a fact-one in eight women will get breast cancer.1 And until there is a breakthrough cure for all stages of breast cancer, the best way to survive it is to detect it early. Survival rates for early detection are 95 percent, but only 41 percent when diagnosed later.2 With those odds, wouldn’t you like to know your breast cancer risk and be able to do something about it? If yes, chances are you’d probably want the same for your mom, sister, aunt and friends. Fortunately, there is good news for you and your loved ones and all it takes is a visit to your healthcare professional. With all of the right tools and a comprehensive breast health plan outlined by a healthcare professional, you and your loved ones can find out the risk for developing breast cancer and do something about it.
As part of a routine evaluation, your healthcare professional has most likely taken your family history into account as a key indicator of your chances of getting breast cancer and could have recommended regular mammograms, and maybe even an ultrasound or MRI, as a first line of defense for breast cancer screening. However, more than 80 percent of women who develop breast cancer have little or no family history of the disease.3 While these tools should be considered as part of an overall breast health plan, women can better understand their risk for developing breast cancer through a validated risk test called BREVAGen™.
BREVAGen is a scientifically validated risk test for sporadic breast cancer that provides five-year and lifetime predictive risk assessments to more accurately evaluate a patient’s risk of developing sporadic, hormone-dependent breast cancer. BREVAGen is administered in a physician’s office using a simple non-invasive “oral-swab.” Following laboratory analysis, physicians receive a comprehensive genetic risk prediction report to review with the patient. The patient’s risk of breast cancer is calculated by combining her relative risk score from seven genetic markers, called SNP’s (single nucleotide polymorphisms), with factors that comprise the patient’s clinical and reproductive history including current age, age at menarche and age at first live birth. More importantly, a physician can then develop an individualized breast health plan that includes appropriate surveillance schedules based on the patient’s risk score and recommendations for lifestyle changes that can reduce the risk for developing breast cancer.
BREVAGen is the first genetic risk prediction test to have been validated in a large scale, peer reviewed, case controlled study. Utilizing data from the U.S. Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Clinical Trial, 3,300 women underwent breast cancer risk assessment utilizing the BREVAGen test. Of those 3,300 women, 1,664 had been diagnosed with breast cancer and 1,636 were in the breast cancer−free control group.
Developing and following a comprehensive breast health plan and knowing your risk can be one of the best ways to fight breast cancer. Here is a checklist that can help you and your healthcare professional make informed decisions:
• Breast self exam—women should start this beginning in their 20s. Any changes in breasts should be reported to a healthcare professional right away.3
• Clinical breast health exam—women in their 20s and 30s should have this exam performed by a healthcare professional every three years. Women in their 40s should have this done every year.3
• Mammogram—women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year and should continue to do so as long as they are in good health.3
• BREVAGen Test—women age 35 and older should ask their doctor to administer this two-step test to determine their five-year and lifetime risk level.
The gift of good health can be one of the best gifts that you can give to a loved one. For more information about breast cancer awareness, visit www.cancer.org and for more information about how to identify breast cancer risk, visit www.brevagen.com. North American Precis Syndicate
1. National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. Breast Cancer Risk in American Women. Accessed May 14, 2013 at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Detection/probability-breast-cancer.
2. Breast Cancer. Breast cancer survival rates by stage. American Cancer Society. Accessed May 20, 2013 at http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-survival-by-stage.
3. Breast Cancer: Early Detection. American Cancer Society. Accessed May 13, 2013 at http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003165-pdf.pdf.