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BRCA patients use Stanford-developed online tool to better understand treatment options

Using a new web-based resource developed at Stanford, women with a high risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers can review preventative care treatment options and see first-hand how different choices could significantly reduce their cancer risk.

A story published today in Inside Stanford Medicine explains researchers' motivation for creating the tool:

Launched earlier this year, the online, interactive tool allows women with known mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, which put them at high risk for cancer, to see what their chances of survival would be after taking different preventive measures at different ages. The tool, which can be found on the Stanford Cancer Institute website at, already receives around 1,000 visits per month. High-risk cancer patients are praising it as an empowering way to help cope with and plan for preventive treatments.

"We wanted to create something simple that would lay out the numbers in a straightforward fashion," said co-developer Allison Kurian, MD, an assistant professor of oncology and of health research and policy who was the lead author of a paper describing the online tool in the Feb. 10 issue of Journal of Clinical Oncology. "We hope that this leads to an informed dialogue between doctors and patients."

Read the full story to learn how patients are using the tool to wrestle with tough decisions.

Previously: Familial BRCA mutation alone doesn't increase a woman's risk of breast cancer and Researchers unsure why some breast cancer patients choose double mastectomies

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