A study trying to find the best way to work out breast cancer risk for women with a strong family history (FHRisk)

Please note - this trial is no longer recruiting patients. We hope to add results when they are available.

Cancer type:

Breast cancer





This study is looking at improving the way specialists work out the risk of breast cancer in women who have a family history of the disease.

Having a number of relatives who’ve had breast cancer (or some other cancers) can increase your own risk of getting breast cancer. If you have a significant family history of breast cancer you may see a specialist who can assess your risk. The women taking part in this study have a strong family history of breast cancer and have had their risk assessed at a Family History Clinic in Manchester.

The specialists at the Family History Clinic assess your risk based on how strong your family history is and some other factors such as

  • The age you were when you started having periods
  • Whether or not you have children and if so, what age you were when you had your first child
  • Whether or not you breastfed
  • Whether you have been through the menopause, and if so at what age

In this study, the researchers want to find out if combining this information with details of how dense your breast tissue appears on a mammogram, along with blood tests to look for particular gene changes is a more accurate way of working out your individual risk.

Who can enter

You can enter this trial if you have

  • Been seen at the Family History Clinic at Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester and are invited to take part
  • Had a mammogram
  • Previously filled in a detailed questionnaire about your family history of cancer and other lifestyle factors

Trial design

The study will recruit 1,400 women. Some of the women taking part have had breast cancer, but many have not. By studying the different risk factors in both groups of women, the researchers hope to learn more about the best way to estimate a woman’s individual risk of breast cancer.

If you agree to take part, the study team will ask you to give a blood sample. They will use this to look for certain gene changes that are known to affect breast cancer risk. Some women joining the study will have already given a blood sample for genetic testing, so won’t need to give another sample.

The researchers will also study your mammogram to look at how dense your breast tissue is.

When you first went to the Family History Clinic, you would have filled in a questionnaire that asked about your family history of cancer, whether you have had non cancerous breast disease, your weight, the age you were when you started your periods and when you went through the menopause (if you are post menopausal). It would have also asked about whether or not you have had children, and if so at what age, as well as whether you have taken the contraceptive pill or hormone replacement therapy (HRT Open a glossary item). The researchers will use all that information in this study, but if there were any questions you didn’t answer at the time, they will ask you to complete another short questionnaire.

The researchers will ask you if you want to know the updated assessment of your breast cancer risk. If you do, they can send this to you by post. If you would like to discuss this with a consultant, they can arrange an appointment for you at the Family History Clinic.

Hospital visits

If you no longer attend the Family History Clinic, there will be one extra hospital visit in this study. Otherwise, you can have a blood test at a routine clinic visit. If you would prefer to have a separate appointment for this, you can ask the study team to arrange that.

If you need to fill in an extra questionnaire, the study team can send this to you in the post.

Side effects

You may have a small bruise after having a blood test.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Professor Gareth Evans

Supported by

NIHR Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) Programme
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 8714

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Harriet wanted to try new treatments

A picture of Harriet

“I was keen to go on a clinical trial. I wanted to try new cancer treatments and hopefully help future generations.”

Last reviewed:

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