- Teaching Notes
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Breast Cancer Risk
Using Real Medical Histories to Rank Genetic and Environmental Influences
Michèle I. Shuster
This case study takes a combined directed and discussion approach to explore risk factors for breast cancer. After a preparatory reading assignment, students assess various medical histories derived from actual women with breast cancer and rank their overall risk for breast cancer and make recommendations for risk reduction. The task is complicated by the different and often combined sources of risk (e.g., reproductive history, hormone replacement therapy and family history). Originally written for an introductory biology course, the case study could easily be adapted for upper division curses in genetics, physiology, or biochemistry to explore the biological and biochemical basis underlying various risk factors.
Introductory Course Goals
Possible Goals for Upper Division Courses (e.g., Genetics, Physiology, Biochemistry)
|Keywords:||Breast cancer risk factors; family history; pedigree chart; reproductive history; clinical history; estrogen; BRCA1; BRCA2; oncogenes|
|Educational Level:||High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Clinical education|
|Subject Headings:||Bioinformatics Physiology Genetics / Heredity Epidemiology Biochemistry|
|Copyright:||Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.|
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