New survey helps determine if you are high risk for breast cancer

Oct 13, 2022, 5:54 PM | Updated: Oct 14, 2022, 6:48 am

SALT LAKE CITY — October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Nationally one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, but if caught early it is extremely treatable.

Intermountain Healthcare is offering a new survey to determine if you are at high risk.

The survey is called The Tyrer-Cuzick questionnaire. It’s a risk assessment calculator that measures a woman’s 10-year and lifetime risk for developing breast cancer based on family medical history, breast tissue density and genealogy.

“Women will take this survey each time they come in to get their yearly mammogram,” said Dr. Eugune Kim, breast imaging radiologist for Intermountain Healthcare.

Kim said if your risk factor is high then you will get an MRI coupled with your annual mammogram.

“With breast cancer, it’s all about early detection, the screening mammogram is the best way to do that,” Kim said.

Starting next year, an abbreviated MRI will be offered. It’s quicker and less expensive.

“It’s shortening the exam from somewhere to 40 minutes to 10 minutes,” he said.

The goal of the MRI and survey is early detection.

“With breast cancer, early detection means decreased morbidity and decreased mortality, so early detection really saves lives,” Kim said.

Katherine Graham took the risk assessment in January and found out that she is high risk.

Graham said she has a family history of breast cancer. Her mom, aunt and sister have all had it but have lived long and healthy lives after treatment.

“Despite the history, I feel blessed that they have done so well,” she said.

Graham said that during her MRI they found that she had dense breast tissue.

Her family history paired with dense breast tissue makes her high-risk.

She said with the new technology, she is thankful that she will be able to be proactive.

“To me having this procedure, it puts my mind at rest, that I am doing all that I can, and if they do find cancer, it will be sooner rather than later,” Graham said.

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New survey helps determine if you are high risk for breast cancer