(NAPSI)—Take a look around—at the grocery store, school open houses, the mall, the park—it’s all around you—one in eight women will get breast cancer.1 While this may seem like just another sad statistic, it’s real and will most likely touch your life in one way or another. However, what if you could do something for yourself, loved ones and friends to increase the chance of breast cancer survival? Fortunately, you can and all it takes is a visit to your healthcare professional and a simple risk assessment test called BREVAGen™. BREVAGen is a scientifically validated risk assessment test for sporadic breast cancer that provides five-year and lifetime predictive risk assessments to more accurately evaluate a woman’s risk of developing sporadic, hormone-dependent breast cancer.
Did you know that more than 80 percent of women who develop breast cancer have little or no family history of the disease?2 Although routine evaluation tools such as family history, mammograms, ultrasounds and/or MRIs are important first lines of defense against breast cancer, women can better understand their risk for developing breast cancer through the BREVAGen test. BREVAGen is administered in a physician’s office using a simple, non-invasive “oral-swab.” Following laboratory analysis, physicians receive a comprehensive genetic risk prediction report to review with the patient. The patient’s risk of breast cancer is calculated by combining their relative risk score from seven genetic markers, called SNP’s (single nucleotide polymorphisms), with factors that comprise the patient’s clinical and reproductive history including current age, age at menarche and age at first live birth. More importantly, a physician can then develop an individualized breast health plan that includes appropriate surveillance schedules based on the patient’s risk score and recommendations for lifestyle changes that can reduce the risk for developing breast cancer.
Make sure your breast health plan includes the following steps:
• Healthy lifestyle—get regular physical activity, eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, quit smoking and maintain a healthy body weight.
• Clinical breast health exam—women in their 20s and 30s should have this exam performed by a healthcare professional every three years. Women in their 40s should have this done every year.2
• Mammogram—women age 40 and older should have a mammogram every year and should continue to do so as long as they are in good health.2
• BREVAGen Test—women age 35 and older should ask their doctor to administer this two-step test to determine their five-year and lifetime risk level.
BREVAGen, which is currently specified for women 35 years of age and older and Caucasian of European descent, is the first genetic risk prediction test to have been validated in a large scale, peer reviewed, case controlled study. Utilizing data from the U.S. Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) Clinical Trial, 3,300 Caucasian women of European descent underwent breast cancer risk assessment utilizing the BREVAGen test. Of those 3,300 women, 1,664 had been diagnosed with breast cancer and 1,636 were in the breast cancer−free control group. Validation for additional ethnicities is anticipated in the near future.
Until there is a breakthrough cure for all stages of breast cancer, the best way to survive it is to detect it early. Survival rates for cases detected early are 95 percent, but only 41 percent when diagnosed later.3 With all of the right tools and a comprehensive breast health plan outlined by a certified healthcare professional, you and your loved ones can find out the risk for developing breast cancer and do something about it.
The gift of good health can be one of the best gifts that you can give to a loved one. For more information about breast cancer awareness, visit www.cancer.org and for more information about how to identify breast cancer risk, visit www.brevagen.com.
1. National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. Breast Cancer Risk in American Women. Accessed May 14, 2013 at http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Detection/probability-breast-cancer.
2. Breast Cancer: Early Detection. American Cancer Society. Accessed May 13, 2013 at http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003165-pdf.pdf.
3. Breast Cancer. Breast cancer survival rates by stage. American Cancer Society. Accessed May 20, 2013 at http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/detailedguide/breast-cancer-survival-by-stage.