The Importance of Knowing One’s Breast Cancer Risk Score
In the last edition of our newsletter, I wrote about the importance of knowing one’s breast cancer risk score. As you may recall, the average woman’s risk of developing breast cancer in her lifetime is 12%. But, my question to you is how many of us are average? What, if after genetic testing or after a software-based model calculation, we find out that our breast cancer risk score is >12%. What can we do to lower or modify that risk score? You also may recall that 30% of breast cancer cases are linked to a poor lifestyle. That modifiable risk factor is very much in our control. Our lifestyle is a powerful driver of either disease or lack thereof. How do we harness the power of lifestyle as it pertains to our risk of developing breast cancer? Allow me to introduce you to the Prevent Program here at the Couri Center.
Introducing Prevent By Couri
Prevent By Couri is a lifestyle-based wellness program designed to help women lower their individual risk of developing breast cancer. Grounded in both the science of Western medicine combined with the healing traditions of Integrative Medicine is born a program that through a thorough data gathering process and a comprehensive laboratory evaluation provides us with information that we use to formulate a personalized plan unique to each individual. This program will address nutrition, exercise, hormone metabolization, inflammation, and detoxification as it pertains to lowering the risk of breast cancer. All women are candidates for Prevent, but it is particularly well suited for women whose breast cancer risk score is >20%.
How Do I Determine if I am at High Risk?
I encourage all women age 40 and older to have their breast cancer risk score calculated. This can be done in one of two ways. The first option is relevant for women who qualify for genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer. If you meet criteria to have Myriad genetic testing performed, the test will include a breast cancer risk score based on your individual genetic makeup and non-modifiable factors including but not limited to your age, family history of cancer, breast density, age at first period and age at first pregnancy. To have a better idea if you qualify for Myriad genetic testing, please take the hereditary cancer quiz at hcquiz.com/couricenter. For women who do not qualify for genetic testing, your breast cancer risk score can be calculated using a computer-based software model that incorporates several of the variables listed above. We would love to help you find your score.
How Can I Get Started?
The first step is to make an appointment with Leslie Rusch-Bayer, our Registered Dietitian. She will help guide you down the right path for testing and then get you enrolled in Prevent, if appropriate. The New Year is a great time to invest in your health. Know your number, change your destiny. Oh, the power of the female spirit – it is like nothing else.
To Your Health,