Bloomington / Normal, IL

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Breast Cancer


Understanding Your Risk


Submitted by Ft. Jesse Imaging & Gale Keeran Center for Women


When we talk about cancer screening, one common question people ask is, “How can you find out if you’re at risk for cancer?” Fortunately, risk assessment tools help determine who qualifies for supplemental screening and genetic counseling or testing. In general, each tool identifies several risk factors that scientists have associated with an increased risk for cancer.

The Tyrer-Cuzick Lifetime Risk Model is used to calculate a person’s likelihood of carrying a genetic mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2. This estimates the likelihood of a woman developing breast cancer in 5 or 10 years and over the course of her lifetime until the age of 85. Tyrer-Cuzick is a female oriented risk model and focuses primarily on breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and reproductive history, as well as additional demographic-related factors that impact overall risk.

The Tyrer-Cuzick model expresses risk for breast cancer as a percentage, with 20% being the threshold at which additional screenings (e.g. breast MRI) are recommended by National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) guidelines.

While there are many risk factors that can increase a risk of breast cancer, the Tyrer-Cuzick lifetime risk model includes a limited set of these factors.

  • Family history includes history of breast and ovarian cancer, age of diagnosis, Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry, BRCA1 & BRCA2 genetic testing results, and the number and age of female relatives.
  • Personal history in the Tyrer-Cuzick assessment include age, height, weight, personal history of breast or ovarian cancers and the respective age of diagnosis, prior breast biopsy, atypical biopsy results, BRCA1 & BRCA2 genetic testing results, and breast density (age 40+ only).
  • Finally, reproductive factors considered include a woman’s age of menarche, age of first birth, menopausal status, and history of hormone replacement therapy.


Here at Ft. Jesse Imaging & Gale Keeran Center for Women, we are proud to offer a genetic screening tool for all our women’s center patients. This simple screening tool was first adopted in our center in February 2023 and was used widely amongst our patients over the past year. As women return in 2024 and beyond for their annual screening, it is important to understand that breast cancer (along with all other cancer) risk can change over time. Have you personally had a new diagnosis of cancer or has a parent or sibling experienced a new diagnosis? With that knowledge, when returning for your annual screening you should elect to re-take the quick screening survey.

Knowledge is power and we believe that a clear understanding of personal risk can help patients manage their risks and make informed decisions about their health.


Ft. Jesse Imaging & Gale Keeran Center for Women is proud to offer the highest quality and experience in medical imaging for the Bloomington-Normal, IL community. Imaging modalities include PET/CT, MRI, CT, Ultrasound, 3D Mammography, ABUS, Bone Density, and X-ray. Cutting-edge technology, sub-specialized Radiologists, and the ultimate in convenience offer both patients and referring physicians a superior diagnostic imaging experience. To learn more about Ft. Jesse Imaging & Gale Keeran Center for Women call 309-454-5552 or visit them at