Breast cancer: Genetics remains at the heart of screening

Although environmental causes are influential, genetics remains an essential criterion for assessing the risk of breast cancer.

Genetics is an essential variable to consider in breast cancer screening. This is confirmed by a new study, published in The Lancet Oncology.
To estimate the overall risk of breast cancer incurred by each woman, there are today "prediction models", designed according to different criteria. In comparing them, the researchers found that family history models are more effective than others.

BOADICIA and IBIS models were more accurate

Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool (BCRAT), Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool (BRCAPRO), Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool (BRCAPRO), Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool (BRCAPRO), and BRCA (Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool) were evaluated. IBIS (International Breast Cancer Intervention Study). All were applied to a cohort of 18,856 Australian, Canadian and American women. Between March 1992 and June 2011, none of them had breast cancer. In 11 years of follow-up, 4% developed breast cancer.
In the end, the results showed that the BOADICIA and IBIS models, which include family history data, were more accurate than others in predicting breast cancer risk. This was true even for women who did not have a family history of breast cancer or mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 * genes. "Risk models would be improved by the inclusion of information on family history," the trial concludes.

The most widespread of female cancers

There are several types of breast cancer. For the most frequent, hormone-dependent breast cancers and "HER +" cancers, today there are highly effective targeted therapies. But 15% of patients, often young, have breast cancer called "triple negative", that is to say without any known marker on the surface of cancer cells likely to respond to a known targeted therapy *.
With approximately 54,062 new people affected each year, breast cancer is the most common type of female cancer (nearly one in nine women will be affected in her lifetime). Less than 10% of breast cancers occur before the age of 40, the incidence then steadily increases until age 65. This, coupled with the fact that the density of the mammary gland is less important at this age, justifies the choice of the age range of 50 to 74 years for organized screening. After doubling between 1980 and 2005, the incidence now seems to be stabilizing. Even more encouraging, mortality (number of deaths / year) has not increased since the 1980s. *

* BRCA1 and BRCA2 are in principle the genes that protect us against cancer.

* Source: Institut Curie.

* Source: The League Against Cancer.

Video: Breast Cancer Genes, Risk Assessment and Screening - Lawrence Brody (December 2019).