“Women with breast cancer often wonder whether they should have their other breast removed as well, to prevent a potential tumor from developing there. The exact risks vary significantly per person. We know some of the mechanisms behind it, but not all. I investigated which factors correlate with an increased risk of developing breast cancer in the other breast. I analyzed certain gene varieties in large data sets and looked at the way various cancer therapies affected this risk. My results contribute to a model that physicians can use to predict each patient’s risk of developing a tumor. To implement this model successfully into the clinic, we interviewed 19 women who have had breast cancer to determine the best way to display these risks for the patients themselves – such as a graph, or figures. In the future, physicians may be able to use this model to identify women who are at an increased risk of developing another tumor and to comfort women who have a lower risk.
Iris will defend her thesis on December 14 in Leiden. Her promotor is Marjanka Schmidt.
Iris Kramer’s research was financially made possible by Alpe d’HuZes-KWF.