January 16, 2019 - 16:22 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - UK scientists have developed an online calculator that could enable doctors to more accurately predict a patient's chance of developing breast cancer, CNN says.
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 Tuesday 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.
The result is more precise than ever before, as more than 300 genetic indicators have been taken into account, says Cancer Research UK who co-led the study.
"This is the first time that anyone has combined so many elements into one breast cancer prediction tool," said the study's lead author, Antonis Antoniou, Professor of Cancer Risk Prediction at Cambridge in a statement.
Around 627,000 women died from breast cancer worldwide in 2018, according to the World Health Organization.
It is the most common cancer in women in the United States, where about 41,000 women and 450 men die each year from the disease, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In the UK, 55,000 women and 350 men will be told that they have the disease this year. The country has one of the lowest breast cancer survival rates in Western Europe and around 11,500 women are likely to die of the condition in 2019.