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FAQ

When is SeeMyRisk updated? Click for more

Different versions of SeeMyRisk.com will be available on the completion of each version’s beta testing cycle. You will not need to re-register to access any of the new versions. When they become available, they will appear in your menu when you log in.

Why do I get a message saying that my computer cannot display the page?Click for more

The most common problem seems to be that in some browsers, the next screen does not load on time. When this happens, a screen saying "This page cannot be displayed" may appear. This problem can often be simply corrected by clicking the "Refresh" button on the browser's tool bar.

Why is my computer alerting me for permissions relating to security?Click for more

To ensure that the information transferring between your computer and the SeeMyRisk.com's server is not tampered with or viewed by others, the information is encrypted via (SSL) secure socket layer technologies.

Who is the SeeMyRisk program applicable to?Click for more

The SeeMyRisk.com program uses published international cancer data where available initially in the US, UK and Australia. The information provided is already available worldwide. The risk of vitamin D deficiency is limited to Australia at this stage, however as the program develops further, data from other nations will become available and SeeMyRisk.com will be useful to estimate risks for other countries.

What does my risk of cancer mean?Click for more

The chance of someone developing cancer depends on many different risk factors. For both breast and prostate cancer this will include family risk, medications used such as HT, regular screening, and even the country and/or race in which he or she lives. Changes in any of these “factors” will affect the chance of a woman developing breast cancer. The amount that each of these risk factors affects breast cancer risk is calculated by SeeMyRisk.com. This program also uses information about the frequency of breast cancer for different nations and states so that the personal risk for an individual may be estimated.

How does the calculator estimate the risk of cancer?Click for more

SeeMyRisk.com initially calculates the theoretical risk of breast cancer where known significant risk factors have been removed (such as family history, medication and/or screening). This technique is called the “Attributable Fraction” methodology. Then any personal risk may be added for an individual. If this method is not used then the calculation will over-estimate a person’s risk of cancer and is termed “double-counting” the risk.

For example, because published breast cancer information is based on a whole population some women have higher risk of cancer because of a strong family history or because of HRT use whereas others have a lower risk. For example, SeeMyRisk.com calculates that a 50 year old Australian (with no family history of breast cancer and who does not take HRT) has a 5.5% chance of developing breast cancer in the next 30 years of her life. If she were to start using combined estrogen and progesterone HRT for 5 years, her risk of breast cancer would change to 6.0%.

SeeMyRisk.com estimates that the additional risk of breast cancer due to HRT use is about 0.5%. If no adjustment was made for the effect of family history on the population breast cancer risk the 50yr old Australian would have a 6.1% chance of breast cancer and her risk with HRT would be 6.7%. This is the effect of “double-counting” increasing people breast cancer risk.

The same applies when calculating the risk of prostate cancer in men. It is very important to work out the baseline risk (without a known family history) at different age groups before applying risk factors such as a family history in a father or brother.

This percentage risk of developing cancer is described in three ways as follows: as a “population chart “ with 100 male or female shapes shaded based on no risk, risk due to family history and risk due to cancer (in the example above 6.7% would be rounded to “7” at risk women in 100 shapes) as the inverse of the percentage. In the example above, 6.7% is equivalent to 1 in 100 divided by 6.7; that is 1 in (100/6.7) = 1 in 14.925 = 1 in 15 at 5 years, 10 years and a “lifetime” (defines as to age 80) as a stacked bar-chart where the different risks shown as a percentage are stacked on top of each other baseline, family history risk and risk due to other factors such as hormonal therapy.

The calculators do not take into account the multiple other factors that, in general, have a relative risk of less than 1.5. These include obesity, drinking more than 1-2 glasses of alcohol per day, early menarche, long-tern use of the contraceptive pill, late menopause for breast cancer and for the prostate calculator, factors such as having a mother with breast cancer. You risk may be slightly higher if you have one or more of these risk factors.