Women who have a Gail risk score of 1.66 or higher have a higher than average risk for developing breast cancer.
The Gail Model is one of the models developed to quantify a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. The model incorporates a series of questions related to breast cancer risk factors. Answers to the questions are calculated into a Gail risk score. A woman’s risk is considered low if her five-year risk of developing breast cancer is less than 1.6%; it is considered high if she scores above 1.66%. (All women who are over 60 have a score of at least 1.66 and are considered high risk, based on the Gail Model.) Women who score high on the test are encouraged to have increased surveillance and to consider breast cancer risk-reduction options.
The Gail Model is often used in research studies to evaluate which women are at high risk for developing breast cancer. Yet there are real concerns about the Gail Model’s ability to predict risk in populations other than white US women (and even among these women it has accuracy problems).
To assess your own risk, you can use the National Cancer Institute’s Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool.