Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for Native American women, according to the American Indian Cancer Foundation (AICF). Further, the AICF says that Native American women have a 10% higher death rate compared to non-Hispanic white women. 

That’s why the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic (OKCIC)’s Pink Team, a team of clinicians focused on women’s health, is dedicated to helping Native American women take care of their health. A key component of that care is the MyRisk® Hereditary Cancer Test with RiskScore®. 

“Every patient’s breast cancer risk is different. The MyRisk with RiskScore test gives us the ability to evaluate each patient’s unique situation and helps providers understand how best to guide their care,” said Dr. Tyler Freeman, director of family practice and specialty services at the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic.  

The MyRisk with RiskScore test enables the Pink Team to provide actionable insight for their patients. And, according to Dr. Freeman, patients are receptive to taking the test. 

“Often patients are relieved to hear that we offer something like MyRisk with RiskScore,” said Dr. Freeman. “When a test report comes back and a patient isn’t at an elevated risk, it gives them peace of mind especially if their family history had given them a reason to be concerned. It also allows us to teach them the importance of prevention strategies even if they aren’t at elevated risk.” 

Nurse Practitioner Lakin Urias, a member of the OKCIC Pink Team, agrees.  

“MyRisk with RiskScore gives patients some reassurance as far as their individualized risk,” said Urias. “I believe in ordering the MyRisk testing for a patient who has concerning family history because it allows us to develop an individual plan of care.” 

The individual plan of care is exactly why the RiskScore component of MyRisk is so crucial. RiskScore analyzes family history, personal clinical risk factors, and genetic markers to estimate the risk of developing breast cancer over the next five years and remaining lifetime. 

“In a lot of cases, breast cancers can be missed on annual mammograms, especially in women with dense breast tissue,” said Dr. Brooke Frantz, family medicine physician in obstetrics, the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic. “For patients at an elevated risk for breast cancer, MyRisk with Riskscore can individualize your management and can qualify you for further screening.” 

For some patients, additional screening can mean getting an annual MRI, in addition to annual mammograms. These screenings may find cancer at an earlier stage, as well as helping clinicians determine more appropriate treatment options.  

Learn more about the MyRisk Hereditary Cancer Test by clicking here.