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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2004 Jan;13(1):87-93.

Risk estimation for healthy women from breast cancer families: new insights and new strategies.

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Center of Human and Clinical Genetics, Department of Clinical Genetics, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Risk estimation in breast cancer families is often estimated by use of the Claus tables. We analyzed the family histories of 196 counselees; compared the Claus tables with the Claus, the BRCA1/2, the BRCA1/2/ models; and performed linear regression analysis to extend the Claus tables with characteristics of hereditary breast cancer. Finally, we compared the Claus extended method with the Claus, the BRCA1/2, and the BRCA1/2/u models. We found 47% agreement for Claus table versus Claus model; 39% agreement for Claus table versus BRCA1/2 model; 48% agreement for Claus table versus BRCA1/2/u model; 37% agreement for Claus extended method versus Claus model; 44% agreement for Claus extended model versus BRCA1/2 model; and 66% agreement for Claus extended method versus BRCA1/2/u model. The regression formula (Claus extended method) for the lifetime risk for breast cancer was 0.08 + 0.40 (*) Claus Table + 0.07 (*) ovarian cancer + 0.08 (*) bilateral breast cancer + 0.07 (*) multiple cases. This new method for risk estimation, which is an extension of the Claus tables, incorporates information on the presence of ovarian cancer, bilateral breast cancer, and whether there are more than two affected relatives with breast cancer. This extension might offer a good alternative for breast cancer risk estimation in clinical practice.

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