Early detection of breast cancer through screening reduces breast cancer mortality. The benefits of screening must also be considered within the context of potential harms (e.g., false positives, overdiagnosis). Furthermore, while breast cancer risk is highly variable within the population, most screening programs use age to determine eligibility. A risk-based approach is expected to improve the benefit-harm ratio of breast cancer screening programs. The PERSPECTIVE I&I (Personalized Risk Assessment for Prevention and Early Detection of Breast Cancer: Integration and Implementation) project seeks to improve personalized risk assessment to allow for a cost-effective, population-based approach to risk-based screening and determine best practices for implementation in Canada. This commentary describes the four inter-related activities that comprise the PERSPECTIVE I&I project. 1: Identification and validation of novel moderate to high-risk susceptibility genes. 2: Improvement, validation, and adaptation of a risk prediction web-tool for the Canadian context. 3: Development and piloting of a socio-ethical framework to support implementation of risk-based breast cancer screening. 4: Economic analysis to optimize the implementation of risk-based screening. Risk-based screening and prevention is expected to benefit all women, empowering them to work with their healthcare provider to make informed decisions about screening and prevention.
Keywords: breast cancer; risk prediction; risk stratification; screening.