The phrase “high-risk for breast cancer” is used to identify various groups at elevated cancer risk, and the appropriate surveillance and risk-reducing strategies differ based on the etiology of risk. Here, we review the utility of patient-reported data to capture women with modifiable lifestyle risk factors and those suitable for genetic counseling referral.
Patient-reported data from a web-based survey were used to capture personal history, multi-generational family history, and lifestyle factors (body mass index, alcohol consumption, physical activity). Responses were tabulated, and percentage of patients who met criteria for possible intervention calculated.
1277 women completed the survey from October 2014 to December 2015. Women were considered high risk for a combination of the following: family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer (77%), history of atypical hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ (35%), known breast cancer-related gene mutation (11%). Based on self-reported data, 65% qualified for genetic evaluation but 40% reporting no prior testing. Only half of the population met national physical activity recommendations, nearly 40% were overweight/obese, and 18% reported consuming ≥1 alcoholic beverage per day.
Among women followed in a high-risk breast surveillance program, there is considerable opportunity for improved genetic referral and awareness of modifiable lifestyle factors based on self-reported data as 60% of respondents reported a possible area for intervention. While risk reduction associated with lifestyle changes is modest in comparison to chemoprevention or surgery, such changes are practically without risk, minimally expensive, and provide innumerable secondary health benefits.
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This study was funded in part by NIH/NCI Cancer Center Support Grant P30 CA008748.
Conflict of interest
All authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.
This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.
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Rosenberger, L.H., Weber, R., Sjoberg, D. et al. Impact of self-reported data on the acquisition of multi-generational family history and lifestyle factors among women seen in a high-risk breast screening program: a focus on modifiable risk factors and genetic referral. Breast Cancer Res Treat 162, 275–282 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10549-017-4115-x
- Breast cancer risk
- Genetic testing
- Health behavior