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New Model Predicts Women's RIsk of Three Common Cancers

Update Date: Jul 30, 2013 04:59 PM EDT
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Scientists have developed a new model that can predict a woman's risk of developing breast, ovarian and endometrial (womb) cancer.

The model uses easily obtainable information on known risk factors for these cancers, according to the researchers.

Researchers developed these models by using data from two large US studies that included white, non-Hispanic women aged over 50 years and by including commonly known risk factors, such as parity (the number of children a women delivered), body mass index (an indicator of the amount of body fat), use of oral contraceptives, and menopausal status and use of menopausal hormone therapy.

Researchers said the new models are able to predict individual women's risk of each cancer.  For instance, individual women's risk for endometrial cancer calculated using this model ranged from 0.5% to 29.5% over the next 20 years depending on their exposure to various risk factors.

"These models predict absolute risks for breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancers from easily obtainable risk factors and may assist in clinical decision-making," researchers wrote.

"Limitations are the modest discriminatory ability of the breast and ovarian models and that these models may not generalize to women of other races," they added.

The findings are published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

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