The Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool allows health professionals to estimate a woman's risk of developing invasive breast cancer over the next 5 years and up to age 90 (lifetime risk).
The tool uses a woman’s personal medical and reproductive history and the history of breast cancer among her first-degree relatives (mother, sisters, daughters) to estimate absolute breast cancer risk—her chance or probability of developing invasive breast cancer in a defined age interval.
The tool has been validated for white women, black/African American women, Hispanic women and for Asian and Pacific Islander women in the United States. The tool may underestimate risk in black women with previous biopsies and Hispanic women born outside the United States. Because data on American Indian/Alaska Native women are limited, their risk estimates are partly based on data for white women and may be inaccurate. Further studies are needed to refine and validate these models.
This tool cannot accurately estimate breast cancer risk for:
- Women carrying a breast-cancer-producing mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2
- Women with a previous history of invasive or in situ breast cancer (lobular carcinoma in situ or ductal carcinoma in situ)
- Women in certain other subgroups (see Other Risk Assessment Tools section)
Although a woman's risk may be accurately estimated, these predictions do not allow one to say precisely which woman will develop breast cancer. In fact, some women who do not develop breast cancer have higher risk estimates than some women who do develop breast cancer.