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© Copyright 2013
Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine


About This Site

Your Disease Risk is an educational website of the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. The Siteman Cancer Center is located in St. Louis, Missouri, and is an international leader in cancer treatment, research, prevention, education, and community outreach.

The Your Disease Risk site was originally developed by the Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention and began as the Harvard Cancer Risk Index, a pen and paper cancer risk assessment tool first put together in the mid-1990s by the Risk Index Working Group at the Harvard School of Public Health. In 1999, the Risk Index was adapted to the Web as Your Cancer Risk. Then, to give even greater emphasis to the importance of healthy behaviors, Your Cancer Risk was expanded to include assessments for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis. The expanded site was renamed Your Disease Risk.

In early 2007, Your Disease Risk moved to the Siteman Cancer Center so it could continue under the direction of Dr. Graham Colditz

Milestones
1997 - Harvard Cancer Risk Index. First version of tool printed.

2000 - Your Cancer Risk (4 Cancers). First online version launched, included cancers of the breast, colon, lung and prostate. (January)

2000 - Your Cancer Risk (12 Cancers). Site expanded to include 12 different cancers. (June)

2004 - Your Disease Risk. Site renamed and expanded to include heart disease, stroke, diabetes and osteoporosis.

2005 - Cuidar de su Salud. Spanish-language version launched.

2007 - Your Disease Risk (Siteman). Site moved to the Siteman Cancer Center.

Throughout its development, sound science has been a top priority of Your Disease Risk. The detailed scientific framework used to develop the Harvard Cancer Risk Index and Your Cancer Risk was also used in the development of Your Disease Risk. For more information on the inner workings of the site, please see the links below.

2007 Review and Update
The cancer and osteoporosis sections of Your Disease Risk were reviewed and updated in spring 2007. Risk factor updates were made in :

  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Stomach cancer
  • Uterine cancer
  • Osteoporosis

2008 Update
Based on the 2008 diet and activity report from the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) and American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) (report), a number of risk factors were added to the cancers in Your Disease Risk:

  • Birth weight (breast cancer)
  • Height (ovarian cancer)
  • Calcium (prostate cancer)
  • Salt/sodium (stomach cancer)
Not all of the latest findings in the WCRF/AICR report, however, were incorporated into the site. Additions to Your Disease Risk are largely based on a group consensus process, which places emphasis on study design and gives greatest weight to combined analyses of prospective cohort studies (see the Pooling Project, for example). The WCRF/AICR report largely based conclusions on combined results from both cohort and case-control studies, which could de-emphasize the importance of study design. For this reason, there is some variance between Your Disease Risk and the 2008 WCRF/AICR report

For more detail on the numbers behind the site, see Prevalence and Relative Risk Estimates.
.  

2011 - 12 Update
During 2011 and 2012, a number of minor changes were made to the disease algorithms to improve their accuracy. A full scientific review of the Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke tools was also conducted. Updates based on this review will be made in 2013.

2013 Update
A new chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) tool was added to the site, listed as two conditions - Chronic Bronchitis and Emphysema. After a complete review of Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Stroke, updates were made to specific relative risk estimates, and heavy drinking was added as a new risk factor to the Stroke tool. Denominator values for the risk score calculations were updated to reflect these changes.

Contributors
A diverse group of researchers, clinicians, programmers and health communication experts contributed to the methodology and content of Your Disease Risk.
Contributors list >>


Harvard Report on Cancer Prevention, Volume IV: Harvard Cancer Risk Index
(Cancer Causes and Control, Volume 11: 477-488, 2000)
A report detailing the process used to develop the original Harvard Cancer Risk Index.
Full report >>

Prevalence and Relative Risk Estimates
Tables listing the prevalence and relative risk estimates used in the Your Disease Risk calculations. [Requires Adobe Acrobat].

Prevalence estimates (PDF) >>
Relative risk estimates (PDF) >>

Site Review Schedule
To ensure that the content of Your Disease Risk stays relevant and up-to-date, the Center implements a regular cycle of review. The complete site is updated every three years, with the 12 cancers reviewed and updated during the first 18 months; heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and osteoporosis reviewed and updated the next. The review and update process involves:
  1. Evaluating current site
  2. Reviewing relevant scientific literature
  3. Meeting with experts as a group to reach consensus on updates
  4. Further reviewing scientific literature
  5. Updating site content
Outside of these major review cycles, smaller updates to the site are made as needed. These usually result from major new research findings or salient comments from professionals or public users of the site.

Contributors

Graham A. Colditz, MD, DrPH
Niess-Gain Professor in the School of Medicine
Washington University
Associate Director, Prevention and Control
Siteman Cancer Center

Mike Atkinson
Senior Software Developer
Channing Lab
Harvard Medical School

Katharine Atwood, MS, ScD

Assistant Professor of Health Behavior
University of Kentucky School of Public Health

David Christiani, MD, MS, MPH
Professor, Depts. of Environmental Health and Epidemiology
Harvard School of Public Health
Professor, Dept. of Medicine
Harvard Medical School

Daniel Cramer, MD, ScD
Professor of Epidemiology
Harvard School of Public Health
Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology
Harvard Medical School

Hank Dart, SM
Project Leader, Your Disease Risk
Siteman Cancer Center
Washington University School of Medicine

Karen Emmons, PhD
Professor of Society, Human Development and Health
Department of Society, Human Development, and Health
Harvard School of Public Health
Director, Health Communication Core
Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center

Diane Feskanich, ScD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Associate Epidemiologist, Department of Medicine
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Susan Hankinson, ScD
Associate Professor of Epidemiology
Harvard School of Public Health
Associate Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School

Frank Hu, MD, PhD

Associate Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology
Department of Nutrition
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine
Brigham and Women's Hospital

David J. Hunter, MD, ScD
Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition
Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition
Harvard School of Public Health

Dana Jessup, SM
Former:
Project Manager
Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention
Harvard School of Public Health
Current:
Director of Communications, Reproductive Health
Serono, Inc.

I-Min Lee, MD, ScD
Associate Professor of Medicine, Division of Preventive Medicine
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Associate Professor
Department of Epidemiology
Harvard School of Public Health

JoAnn Manson, MD, DrPH
Elizabeth F. Brigham Professor of Women's Health
Chief, Division of Preventive Medicine
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Richard R. Monson, MD, SDHyg
Professor of Epidemiology
Departments of Epidemiology and Environmental Health
Harvard School of Public Health

Nancy Mueller, ScD
Professor of Epidemiology
Harvard School of Public Health

Eric Rimm, ScD
Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition
Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition
Harvard School of Public Health

Michelle Samplin-Salgado, MPH
Communications Manager
Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention
Harvard School of Public Health

Meir Stampfer, MD, DrPH
Professor of Nutrition and Epidemiology
Chair, Department of Epidemiology
Departments of Epidemiology and Nutrition
Harvard School of Public Health

Cynthia Stein, MD, MPH

Instructor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School

Anna Tosteson, ScD
Professor of Medicine and of Community and Family Medicine
Dartmouth Medical School

Dimitrios Trichopoulos, MD, PhD
Vincent L. Gregory Professor of Cancer Prevention and Epidemiology
Department of Epidemiology
Harvard School of Public Health

Walter C. Willett, MD, DrPH
Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition
Harvard School of Public Health
Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School

Web Design
Your Cancer Risk original design and site development by Interactive Factory.
Your Disease Risk graphical design and adaptation by Myriad Web.

 

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