Professor Gareth Evans is heading up a major new research study, which is being carried out throughout Greater Manchester. 60,000 women will be invited to join the study, and you can be part of it!
The PROCAS study aims to predict breast cancer risk for women who attend routine NHS breast screening in Greater Manchester. A woman’s risk will be assessed by collecting extra information on each of the most important breast cancer risk factors – family history, lifestyle factors, breast density and genetics.
Each woman will be asked to complete a short and simple questionnaire that asks about family history and lifestyle factors. Extra assessments will also be carried out on the mammogram, to calculate how dense the breasts are, and some women can, if they choose, provide a saliva sample, from which DNA will be extracted and analysed, to assess for genetic risk factors. Women will be seen at their routine mammogram appointment, so participation in the study does not require any extra visits.
Each woman will have the opportunity to be told their individual risk, if they choose. Any woman who does want to know their risk of breast cancer, and is high risk will have the opportunity to be seen by a professional at the Nightingale Centre & Genesis Prevention Centre, where they will be advised on ways of reducing their risk, and given the opportunity to attend for more frequent screening and monitoring.
This is the largest study of its kind in the UK, and the results could impact on the whole NHS Breast Screening Programme. By incorporating this process of personal risk assessment into routine screening practice we can predict and prevent more breast cancers in the future.
Can I take part?
In order to take part in the study you must:
- Live in Greater Manchester
- Be part of the NHS breast screening programme
- Be invited for routine screening in the next 3 years
- If you fulfil all criteria, you will be sent an invitation letter to join the study when you next come for your routine mammogram.
What will be required of me if I take part?
If you decide to take part, you will need to:
- Wait until you have received your invitation letter in the post
- Sign the consent forms
- Indicate whether you would like to know your risk information or not
- Complete the questionnaire
- Attend for your routine screening mammogram
Some women will also be invited to provide a saliva (spit) sample. If you are invited to do this, and you do choose to, you will be asked to spit into a tube (normally takes between 2-5 minutes).
If you have indicated that you would like to receive your risk information, you will either be invited to attend an appointment at the Nightingale Centre & Genesis Prevention Centre to discuss your risk, or you will be sent a letter explaining your risk. You can change your mind about receiving your risk information at any point in the study by contacting the study team.
Before you attend a screening session, please fill in this questionnaire and bring it with you to your mammogram appointment.
The PROCAS study is being run from the Nightingale Centre & Genesis Prevention Centre, Wythenshawe Hospital, in association with the University of Manchester and St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester. The study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research, with additional support from The Genesis Appeal.
Chief Investigator – Professor Gareth Evans
Co-investigator – Professor Tony Howell
Programme Co-ordinator – Paula Stavrinos
Research Co-ordinator – Sarah Dawe
Research Assistants – Jill Fox, Lynne Fox
Research Admin Assistants – Helen Ruane, Sarah Grannell, Jake Southworth, Ellie Tinning
Please email us at PROCAS.Study@uhsm.nhs.uk, or call 0161 291 4408.