1. Parenting
Send to a Friend via Email

Discuss in my forum

Kimberly Powell

Simple Test Can Identify Rare Breast Cancer Gene

By September 25, 2006

Follow me on:

A new screening tool has been developed that uses family history to identify individuals at risk for hereditary breast cancer, according to a new study published in the October 15, 2006 issue of CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society. The Pedigree Assessment Tool (PAT), created by Dr. Kent Hoskins and his colleagues at OSF Saint Anthony Center for Cancer Care in Rockford, Illinois, is a 60-second computerized questionnaire that looks entirely at a patientís family tree to trace back any breast-cancer cases. It then comes up with a score to determine one's risk of the rare hereditary syndrome.

The standard Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool currently used by physicians to calculate an individual's risk for developing breast cancer is often referred to as the Gail Model. While effective for most, this model does not take into account the risk of ovarian cancer and only looks at first-degree relativesí medical history, making it less effective for identifying women whose family cancer histories suggest a risk for hereditary breast cancer syndrom.

Only two or three percent of breast cancers are known to be the result of hereditary mutations. The most commonly recognized of these mutated breast cancer genes are BRCA1 and BRCA2. Inheritance leads to an approximately 80 percent lifetime risk of developing breast cancer, making the PAT test a potential lifesaver for affected individuals.

Related Content:
Risk Cancers for Breast Cancer
Researching Your Medical Family History

Comments
April 27, 2007 at 8:59 am
(1) Preventing Ovarian Cancer says:

Ovarian cancer is a silent killer and is one of the deadliest threats to womenís health. The American Cancer Society says that about 20,180 American women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year alone. Every woman faces a risk of 1:57 risk of getting ovarian cancer in her lifetime.

-Jeanette

Leave a Comment

Line and paragraph breaks are automatic. Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title="">, <b>, <i>, <strike>

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.