New Intermountain Healthcare Survey Helps Determine Women at High Risk of Developing Breast Cancer
Survival rates for those at risk of developing breast cancer have increased dramatically in recent decades thanks to increase in annual screenings.
Salt Lake City, UT (PRUnderground) October 24th, 2022
Women who receive their annual mammogram at Intermountain Healthcare now have the opportunity to take a survey to determine their risk of developing breast cancer.
The hope is for women to be aware and possibly undergo some additional screenings and help determine if they’re at increased risk for breast cancer.
The Tyrer-Cuzick questionnaire is a risk assessment calculator that measures a woman’s 10-year and lifetime risk for developing breast cancer based on family medical history, density of breast tissue, and genealogy.
“In the past we mostly used family history to determine risk, but now we have a host of different data points to more accurately measure a woman’s overall risk of breast cancer,” said Eugene Kim, MD, a radiologist at the Intermountain Breast Care Center in Murray. “This is another tool we have to help women catch breast cancer early and increase survival rates.”
Women who score a 20 or higher on their assessment are considered to be at high risk for breast cancer. It also makes them eligible for a breast MRI scan, which is more sensitive and better at detecting issues in the breast tissue.
Cathy Graham, 61, is one of those patients who recently took the survey and confirmed she is at high risk for developing breast cancer.
Graham always assumed she was because her mother and sister had breast cancer, but in taking the survey she discovered other things also increased her risk.
“It’s good that I’m eligible for breast MRI because my sister had dense breast tissue and they likely would have caught her cancer earlier if she had access to the screening,” said Graham. “While it can be scarier being at higher risk for breast cancer it’s a good reminder to be vigilant about screening.”
Those considered high risk for breast cancer are also eligible for abbreviated MRI which only takes 10 minutes and costs considerably less than a traditional MRI screening. For now, it’s only available at Intermountain Breast Care Center in Murray. In 2023, the service will expand to more Intermountain hospitals in Utah.
Doctors say breast MRI scans won’t replace the need for an annual mammogram because it can still detect some cancers better.
In the United States, one in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Survival rates have increased dramatically in recent decades thanks to increase in annual screenings.
To schedule a screening, call 801-507-7840, or visit intermountainhealthcare.org/mammogram.
To see some questions from the Intermountain questionnaire, click here.
About Intermountain Healthcare
Headquartered in Utah with locations in eight states and additional operations across the western U.S., Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called SelectHealth with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information and updates, click here