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CMAJ. 1994 Jan 15;150(2):211-6.

Risks and probabilities of breast cancer: short-term versus lifetime probabilities.

Author information

  • 1Screen Test: Alberta Program for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer, Alberta Cancer Board, Calgary.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To calculate age-specific short-term and lifetime probabilities of breast cancer among a cohort of Canadian women.

DESIGN:

Double decrement life table.

SETTING:

Alberta.

SUBJECTS:

Women with first invasive breast cancers registered with the Alberta Cancer Registry between 1985 and 1987.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Lifetime probability of breast cancer from birth and for women at various ages; short-term (up to 10 years) probability of breast cancer for women at various ages.

RESULTS:

The lifetime probability of breast cancer is 10.17% at birth and peaks at 10.34% at age 25 years, after which it decreases owing to a decline in the number of years over which breast cancer risk will be experienced. However, the probability of manifesting breast cancer in the next year increases steadily from the age of 30 onward, reaching 0.36% at 85 years. The probability of manifesting the disease within the next 10 years peaks at 2.97% at age 70 and decreases thereafter, again owing to declining probabilities of surviving the interval.

CONCLUSIONS:

Given that the incidence of breast cancer among Albertan women during the study period was similar to the national average, we conclude that currently more than 1 in 10 women in Canada can expect to have breast cancer at some point during their life. However, risk varies considerably over a woman's lifetime, with most risk concentrated after age 49. On the basis of the shorter-term age-specific risks that we present, the clinician can put breast cancer risk into perspective for younger women and heighten awareness among women aged 50 years or more.

PMID:
8287343
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1486211
Free PMC Article
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