A clinical model for identifying the short-term risk of breast cancer

Breast Cancer Res. 2017 Mar 14;19(1):29. doi: 10.1186/s13058-017-0820-y.


Background: Most mammography screening programs are not individualized. To efficiently screen for breast cancer, the individual risk of the disease should be determined. We describe a model that could be used at most mammography screening units without adding substantial cost.

Methods: The study was based on the Karma cohort, which included 70,877 participants. Mammograms were collected up to 3 years following the baseline mammogram. A prediction protocol was developed using mammographic density, computer-aided detection of microcalcifications and masses, use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), family history of breast cancer, menopausal status, age, and body mass index. Relative risks were calculated using conditional logistic regression. Absolute risks were calculated using the iCARE protocol.

Results: Comparing women at highest and lowest mammographic density yielded a fivefold higher risk of breast cancer for women at highest density. When adding microcalcifications and masses to the model, high-risk women had a nearly ninefold higher risk of breast cancer than those at lowest risk. In the full model, taking HRT use, family history of breast cancer, and menopausal status into consideration, the AUC reached 0.71.

Conclusions: Measures of mammographic features and information on HRT use, family history of breast cancer, and menopausal status enabled early identification of women within the mammography screening program at such a high risk of breast cancer that additional examinations are warranted. In contrast, women at low risk could probably be screened less intensively.

Keywords: Breast cancer; Computer-aided detection; Mammographic density; Masses; Microcalcification; Prevention; Risk prediction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Area Under Curve
  • Breast Density
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Computer Simulation
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Mammography
  • Mass Screening
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Risk
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden / epidemiology