Genetics & Genomics

Breast Cancer Risk Prediction Models: Challenges in Clinical Application

Melissa Paquin

Tracy Fasolino

Mary Beth Steck

breast cancer, breast cancer risk prediction model, risk, genetics, genetic testing
CJON 2019, 23(3), 256-259. DOI: 10.1188/19.CJON.256-259

Various breast cancer risk prediction models (BCRPMs) exist to assess an individual’s risk of developing malignancy and risk of having a mutation associated with hereditary risk of developing cancer. This article provides oncology nurses with current information on the available BCRPMs and highlights nursing implications. Oncology nurses’ understanding of BCRPMs can help to ensure that patients are receiving accurate and useful information related to their risks.


  • Although BCRPMs are not diagnostic tools, they can provide valuable information concerning the risk of developing breast cancer or having a cancer susceptibility mutation.
  • Because there is not a universal, standardized BCRPM that can be used for every patient, it is important to understand the purpose, strengths, and limitations of each model so that the proper models can be applied in each clinical situation.
  • Oncology nurses familiar with BCRPMs can use the risk prediction values from these models to guide recommendations for cancer prevention and early detection, as well as identify patients who might benefit from referral for additional genetic evaluation and possibly genetic testing.
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