As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Silver Spring’s Brem Foundation—whose mission is to help women beat breast cancer through early detection—just launched a new online tool designed to help women better understand their risk. The online quiz, called CheckMate, asks users a series of questions, offering background information about the relevance of various factors along the way, and then (after quiz-takers provide a name and email address) emails a list of the quiz-taker’s risk factors, along with a set of questions patients should ask their medical provider at their next visit.
The tool was designed in consultation with board-certified breast-imaging radiologists, led by Dr. Rachel Brem, Brem Foundation’s chief medical officer and director of breast imaging and intervention at the George Washington University Medical Center; they used guidance from the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Cancer Society, the American College of Radiology, and the Society of Breast Imaging.
Unlike other risk tools currently available, this one was specifically designed to be used by the patient, as opposed to providers, and it doesn’t provide a risk percentage or grading, but rather, highlights and explains some factors that patients may not have realized increased their risk. The idea, says Brem Foundation CEO Clare Dougherty, is to “arm women with personalized breast health information, and enable them to have more informed conversations with their providers. Knowledge is power, and in early detection of breast cancer, it can ultimately save lives.”