A study has confirmed the accuracy of iPrevent, an online tool developed at Peter Mac to help women understand and reduce their risk of breast cancer. The study of almost 16,000 women, published in JNCI Cancer Spectrum, found iPrevent gave accurate predictions of their breast cancer risk over a ten-year period.
iPrevent is completely free and available to the public on Peter Mac’s website here.
“iPrevent gives women a convenient way to assess their breast cancer risk and supports a `what can I do about it?’ discussion with their doctor,” says Prof Kelly-Anne Philips who developed the tool and who led this study.
“The tool asks questions about medical and family history and some women learn they are at elevated risk, and there are prevention options to consider.
“In this study we confirmed iPrevent is identifying the right women as having elevated risk, and the predictions it makes are accurate.”
The study involved pooling data from 15,732 women, aged 20 to 70, who took part in earlier research where their health was tracked for at least ten years.
None of the women had breast cancer when they joined the research and, based on their risk factors at that time, iPrevent predicted that 702 would develop breast cancer within 10 years.
Ten years later it was determined that 619 had received a breast cancer diagnosis.
The statistically small difference between the predicted and actual numbers may be attributable to women having modified their risk factors during the study.
Modifiable risk factors for breast cancer include alcohol intake, exercise, body size and use of female hormones such as hormone replacement therapy and hormonal contraceptives.
The study found iPrevent had “good discriminatory accuracy overall”. It was most accurate for women aged under 50 – a key group for breast cancer prevention.
Women can use iPrevent anonymously and no information is retained by the tool. It was launched in 2018 and it is estimated over 10,000 women have used it to assess their risk.
The strong evidence base in support of iPrevent is why a rising number of professional and consumer bodies – such as Cancer Council Australia – support use of the tool.
Professor Sanchia Aranda, CEO, Cancer Council Australia said that she hoped that women would use the tool to help inform discussions with their doctor.
“Many women mistakenly believe they are not at risk of breast cancer if they have no family history,” Prof Aranda says.
“iPrevent is an important tool to help women understand their individual risk of breast cancer and the active steps they can take to reduce their risk.”
Read the study, titled “Accuracy of Risk Estimates from the iPrevent Breast Cancer Risk Assessment and Management Tool” in full here: https://academic.oup.com/jncics/article/3/4/pkz066/5571720
For more information contact the Peter Mac Communications team on 0417 123 048.
About Peter Mac
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre is one of the world’s leading cancer research, education and treatment centres globally and is Australia’s only public hospital solely dedicated to caring for people affected by cancer. We have over 2,500 staff, including more than 580 laboratory and clinical researchers, all focused on providing better treatments, better care and potential cures for cancer.