Can A Facebook App Help Women Determine Whether They Are At Risk For Breast Cancer?

By Jennifer Nelson 

CancerRiskToolUniversity of Colorado Health launched an easy Facebook application to help women assess their own risk of breast cancer, in support of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, The Coloradoan reported. It takes less than one minute for women to visit the Cancer Risk Tool app and answer a few quick questions about their breast health.

The Facebook tool is based on the National Cancer Institute’s breast cancer risk-assessment algorithm, and it provides both five-year and lifetime risks. UCHealth decided to offer it to the public via Facebook to empower women to take control of their health and use social media to promote awareness.

Dr. Regina Brown, medical oncologist at UCHealth’s Fort Collins and Loveland cancer care clinics, said the intent of this assessment is to be a conversation-starter between women and their doctors.

The seven-question assessment about ethnicity, age, family history of breast cancer, and other factors is displayed on a secure webpage, and users may email the results to themselves for reference. The information is not stored.

Of course, the tool cannot tell whether women will get breast cancer, but only estimate their five-year and lifetime risks, hoping to become one more weapon for breast cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Readers: Would you like to see similar health-related apps on Facebook?