Laura Esserman, MD, MBA, University of California, San Francisco, CA and her partners from the Athena Breast Health Network (a collaboration across the five University of California Medical Centers and Sanford Health)


Women receive mixed messages about what type of breast cancer screening they should have and how often they should have mammograms. The WISDOM Study compares the routine, annual mammogram schedule to a personalized screening schedule based on a woman’s individual risk factors. The goal of the study is to determine the best way to use mammograms to improve breast cancer screening while reducing the number of call backs, false alarms, and biopsies for women who do not have breast cancer.

What does participation involve?
You can join this study by filling out an online questionnaire. After processing your questionnaire, the study will randomly assign you to one of two screening groups: Routine Annual Screening or Personalized Screening. If you do not want to be randomly assigned, you can choose between these two screening groups.

If you join the Routine Annual Screening Group:

  • You will complete a Breast Health Questionnaire to help determine your level of personal risk. If you have recently had a mammogram, your breast density will also be used in the calculation of your risk.
  • You will continue to receive annual mammograms. However, the research team may recommend more frequent screenings if your risk factors change.

If you join the Personalized Screening Group:

  • You will complete a Breast Health Questionnaire to help determine your level of personal risk. You will also be asked to provide a saliva sample via a kit that is mailed to your home. This sample will be used to look for any genetic factors that may increase your breast cancer risk.
  • You will receive a screening recommendation that is based on a combination of the following: your questionnaires, whether you have dense breasts, and your genetic test results. You will be assigned a personalized schedule for when to receive your mammograms or other screening method.

Note: Participants are not mandated to follow breast cancer screening recommendations given to them, as it’s just a recommendation given based on their identified risk.

As a participant in either group, you will have the opportunity to talk to a breast health specialist if it is determined that you are at higher than average risk. The breast health specialist will answer any questions you have and recommend follow-up services.

The researchers expect this study to last 5 years. Study participants will be asked to follow their recommended screening schedule until the study ends. Throughout the study, you will be asked to provide annual updates about your breast health through online questionnaires. The study team will ask permission to stay in touch with you and review your medical records for an additional 10 years to follow your breast health.

Everywhere in the U.S.

How can I sign up for this study?

You can sign up for this study if you match all of these main criteria. Please read this list carefully.

  • You are a female, age 40-74
  • You have never been diagnosed with breast cancer or ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
  • You have not had both breasts surgically removed (prophylactic double mastectomy)
  • You have never participated in the WISDOM study before.

Love Research Army

We combat the disparities that exist in research by challenging the scientific community to launch studies that are as inclusive and diverse as the people that breast cancer affects.

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