Olivia Munn recommends which breast cancer risk calculator?

Olivia Munn advised people to seek their doctors to calculate their breast cancer risk score after her double mastectomy this week. Munn claimed her score led to more tests and an aggressive condition.

I'm lucky. We spotted it in time, so I had options,” the 43-year-old actor wrote on Instagram. “I want the same for any woman who may face this one day.” It's a National Cancer Institute internet quiz for doctors to utilize with patients. The tool has seen a “dramatic increase in visits” since Munn's article, an NCI representative said.

Data from just white women was used to create it in 1989. Updates improve accuracy for Black, Hispanic, Asian, and Pacific Islander women. It doesn't consider everything and can't forecast every breast cancer case.

It asks about age, first menstrual period, first child born or not, family history of breast cancer, past breast biopsies, outcomes, race, and ethnicity. The outcome is a lifetime and five-year risk based on breast cancer risk factors. For reference, it offers the average risk for U.S. women of the same age, race, and ethnicity.

At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, breast cancer specialist Dr. Elizabeth Comen advised patients to assess with their doctors. “It's very important to talk to your doctor about doing that together, and then making decisions about what imaging techniques are appropriate” based on the results, Comen added. Munn's high score necessitated imaging examinations not advised for average-risk women.

Not the best risk calculator for some ladies. Not for those with gene mutations or breast cancer histories. It also ignores dense breast tissue, which might hide malignancy. The method may underestimate risk in Black women with past biopsies and Hispanic women born abroad, according to the National Cancer Institute.

The institute's website claims “the model needs further validation for Hispanic women and other subgroups.” “Researchers are conducting more studies to test and improve the model.”

In her research, Vanderbilt University Medical Center nurse practitioner Ashley Johnson found dozens of comparable tools. She said several health groups recommend such an examination for women over 25, but there's no data on which instrument is best.

A woman with a five-year risk score of 2% has a 2% chance of acquiring breast cancer. A woman with a lifetime risk score of 7% has a 7% chance of acquiring breast cancer by 90.

Dr. Arif Kamal, American Cancer Society chief patient officer, said mammogram standards are for average-risk women. Women can start annual mammograms at 40, according to society guidelines. “Knowing your risk starts even before 40,” Kamal remarked. Using a risk calculator can help.

Everyone has a risk of cancer, but lifestyle modifications can lower it, Comen added. She recommends avoiding processed foods, exercising and strength training, minimizing drinking, and not smoking.


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