The Women’s Risk Institute
An assessment at the Women’s Risk Institute
The aim of the Women’s Risk Institute is to evaluate each woman’s personal risk of developing breast cancer, and propose the appropriate monitoring combined with targeted prevention. Foreseeing the need for medical oncology to evolve, the Women’s Risk Institute at the American Hospital of Paris analyzes each woman’s personal, family, radiological and genetic data as part of its personalized monitoring and prevention program dedicated to women.
An assessment at the Women’s Risk Institute
Thanks to specialized new software, any woman with no personal history of breast cancer, regardless of her age, can benefit from a specific, personalized and rapid evaluation of her risk of developing breast cancer in the coming years.
What are the main risk factors for breast cancer?
Cancer never results from any single cause. The disease develops in the presence of several factors, which often interact with each other.
The risk of breast cancer increases with age. It is the leading risk factor for breast cancer.
- Family antecedents and genetic factors
If one or more family members have had breast cancer, this is an important risk factor, especially if the cancer was diagnosed at a young age. 20 to 30 percent of breast cancers develop in women with several cases of breast cancer among family members – mother, sister, grandmother or, in rare cases, brother or father, as men can also develop breast cancer.
Genetic mutations: Through our partnership with Institut Curie, a genetic consultation may be proposed to women or families with a potential genetic risk of breast cancer.
- Benign breast disorders
Benign breast disorders are non-cancerous conditions affecting the breast. Certain lesions such as cysts occur frequently but do not increase the risk of breast cancer. Other benign lesions, such as papillomas, may increase the risk of breast cancer and require close monitoring.
- Breast density
Breast x-rays allow the radiologist to determine the density of a woman’s breasts. Breast density has nothing to do with the size, appearance or consistency of the breasts. Rather, it refers to the amount of fatty tissue. The fattier the breast tissue, the lower the density rate. Breast density varies with age.
Women with high breast density have a greater risk of developing breast cancer. Those with the highest density rates have a four to six times higher risk of developing breast cancer during their lives than women whose breasts are almost entirely made up of fatty tissue.
- Secondary breast cancer risk factors
Other parameters have been identified as breast cancer risk factors or protective factors, even though they play a lesser role in predicting breast cancer: alcohol consumption, excess weight and obesity (after menopause), oral contraception (birth control pill), post-menopausal hormone replacement therapy, age at first period, age when first child was born, age at menopause, number of children, duration of breastfeeding and exercise.
The assessment lasts approximately 21⁄2 hours and takes place at the American Hospital of Paris. It is based on:
- A questionnaire about the patient’s personal and family history
- A mammogram with standardized evaluation of breast density (link to imaging)
- A consultation with a radiologist
- An algorithm derived through artificial intelligence evaluating each woman’s individual breast cancer risk, based on personal and family data and imaging exam results
- In the future, biological genetic profile data will also be taken into account
- A final consultation with a medical oncologist, who gives the patient her individual breast cancer risk assessment, and together with her defines a personalized monitoring and prevention program
After the assessment
Offer personalized monitoring to women
Even if several breast cancer risk factors are identified during your assessment, this doesn’t mean you will develop the disease. Nevertheless, it is important that you and your doctor know your breast cancer risk so you can make informed decisions. Based on this risk, your doctor might propose personalized monitoring.
The American Hospital of Paris offers comprehensive care to patients, if they wish, through a dedicated monitoring and prevention program.
A specific oncogenetic consultation is proposed to women with an identified genetic risk, in collaboration with Institut Curie.
Why undergo an assessment at the Women’s Risk Institute?
By undergoing a specific assessment, which lasts 21⁄2 hours and is carried out at a single location, you will have the opportunity to:
- Identify your individual risk of developing breast cancer in the future
- Learn about personalized screening and the prevention program that best suits your needs
- Receive a recommendation for a genetic consultation, if necessary
The Women’s Risk Institute:
- Does not replace mass organized screening initiatives
- Does not offer post-therapeutic monitoring for patients who have already been treated for cancer