The result of recent developments in the area of breast cancer risk assessment is bittersweet. A new tool for measuring a woman's risk for breast cancer has been devised with more sensitivity to ethnic background. While the new tool gives more accurate estimations, this spells trouble for African-American women whose risk of breast cancer appears to have been previously underestimated.
The silver lining is that women who are at higher risk for developing invasive breast cancer are now able to seek early preventive treatment. And the availability of an assessment tool that is based on data collected from thousands of black women opens the door for greater quality and personalization of care:
“This could very much change the way we counsel African-American women,” Nancy E. Davidson, a breast-cancer expert who heads the American Society of Clinical Oncology, told the WaPo. “It will make women better attuned to their personal risk and more eligible for standard interventions, as well as for trials to improve prevention or detection.”