Advances in genomics and risk stratification allow the tailoring of breast cancer screening recommendations for individual patients. Risk assessment, in particular, identifies women who are candidates for supplemental screening, genetic counseling or genetic testing.

Capitol Imaging Services (CIS) utilizes the Tyrer-Cuzick breast cancer risk assessment model, an important adjunct to our portfolio of screening and diagnostic services for diagnosing breast cancer.

What is the Tyrer-Cuzick Breast Cancer Risk Assessment model?

The Tyrer-Cuzick model is a well-studied model for predicting breast cancer risk. It is a mathematical tool that takes different personal and extensive family risk factors to calculate a breast cancer risk percentage.

These percentages fall within three different categories and are included in the screening mammogram report sent to the referring medical provider who prescribed the test. These categories are:

  1. Average Risk (15% or lower)
  2. Intermediate Risk (15-19.9%)
  3. High Risk (20% or higher)

Average Risk: A woman will receive a recommendation to continue with annual screening 3D mammography.

Intermediate Risk: If the risk percentage falls into this category, annual screening 3D mammography will be recommended. If supplemental screening is desired, annual screening breast ultrasound could be considered appropriate.

High Risk: For this category, the American Cancer Society recommends annual screening breast MRI in addition to annual screening 3D mammography. Therefore, a screening breast MRI would be recommended.

What is the importance of breast cancer risk assessment?

It’s very simple. Women should be educated about their individual risk level.

With the Tyrer-Cuzick assessment model, Capitol Imaging Services (CIS) can identify those women that may be at high risk. The model helps to inform a woman’s decision-making about genetic counselling and testing.

A breast cancer risk assessment model may be helpful in identifying women who may benefit from risk-reducing medications. It may also identify women who carry a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. The Tyrer-Cuzick model may also be useful in determining women who would be most appropriate for high-risk screening breast MRI.

This risk assessment will automatically populate, if available, on each screening mammogram report. This is not something you or your medical provider have to request from Capitol Imaging Services.