Types of Risk
Components of a risk factor assessment typically include a review of the personal medical history, a history of exposures to carcinogens, and a detailed family history.
There are three types of risk.
Absolute risk: The measure of the occurrence of breast cancer either by incidence (new cases) or mortality (deaths) in a defined population. The American Cancer Society (2011) estimated that 207,090 new cases of breast cancer were diagnosed in 2010 and 39,840 deaths occurred from breast cancer. This includes all people in the U.S. population—those of average risk and those at higher risk.
Relative risk: Refers to a comparison of the incidence or deaths among those with a specific risk factor to those who do not have the specific risk factor.
Attributable risk: The amount of disease within the population that could be prevented by alteration or elimination of a specific risk factor. In breast cancer risk, this figure is sometimes applied to hormonal agents.
For More Information
- Site-Specific Cancer Series: Breast Cancer (book)
- Site-Specific Cancer Series: Breast Cancer (webcourse)