About The WISDOM Study

Welcome to the WISDOM Study!

During the past 30 years, most women in the United States have been recommended to have a mammogram every year. We know that mammograms are vital for breast cancer detection, but we still don’t know how often we need them.


Over those same 30 years we have learned so much about the biology of the breast. We now know that women have different levels of risk for breast cancer, and that it is not simply one disease.  Despite these advances, breast cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death for women in the US. If we can learn more about who gets breast cancer, why they get it, and what type they get, we can reduce women’s risk of getting it. That’s why I founded the WISDOM Study – Women Informed to Screen Depending OMeasures of risk.


The groundbreaking WISDOM Study is testing a personalized approach to screening compared to annual mammograms.  Please join us and make medical history. Use the WISDOM of your body to help yourself, us, and generations of women to come.


 – Dr. Laura Esserman

Help us answer:

Should we all get a mammogram every year, or should our screening be based on our personal risk factors?

Because, maybe–just like a bra–when it comes to our breasts, one size does not fit all.

To answer this question, we invite you to be a part of our study testing two different approaches to breast screening: annual mammograms and personalized screening schedules based on a woman’s risk for breast cancer (including genetic risk factors, lifestyle, and breast density). 

We are committed to enrolling a population of women that mirrors the diversity of women in the United States so that all women can benefit from what we learn. Learn more here. 

Our goal is to learn which approach is better at finding cancer, is safer, helps reduce risk, and is preferred by women.

Who can join WISDOM ?

Joining WISDOM is easy, safe, and makes a difference. Everything we learn from you brings us closer to improving lives. Plus, all of the steps can be completed at home at your convenience.

Step 1: Enrollment - Now

You will create an account, choose your study group, sign a consent form and complete a few simple questionnaires. Learn more here

Step 2: Data Collection - The next 2 months

We will collect prior mammogram reports for women who have had a mammogram in the past.  If you chose the Personalized Group, you will provide a saliva sample (by mail) to evaluate genetic risk. This will arrive within a few months. Learn more here

Step 3: Screening advice - The next 2-6 months

You will be emailed a screening plan based on your study group within 2-6 months of enrollment. You can follow our recommendations and get screened accordingly. Learn more here

Step 4: Annual Surveys - Once per year

At the end of each study year in this 5-year study, you’ll fill out an online survey to update us on any changes to your breast health and family history. Based on your survey responses, we will update your screening plan for the following year. Learn more here

Get To Know Our Two Study Groups

The WISDOM Study has 2 different study groups; the Annual Group and Personalized Group.

Annual Group

Women in this group will be recommended to get annual mammograms, which is often recommended by many healthcare providers. The annual arm is only available to women ages 40 and over.

Annual Group

Women in this group will be recommended to get annual mammograms, which is often recommended for women at age 40 by U.S. healthcare providers. Annual screening guidelines are endorsed by several groups, including the American College of Radiology. Learn more here.



Personalized Group

Women in this group will receive a personalized plan with recommendations on how often and when to get screened based on their unique risk factors for breast cancer.

Personalized Group

Women in this group will receive a personalized screening plan based on their unique risk factors for breast cancer. You will receive an at-home genetic testing “spit kit”. This personalized screening approach is a practice that the WISDOM Study is evaluating and is based upon international screening guidelines.

How your study group is decided:

Most Women Will Select Their Study Group

Your Privacy Matters

Your security and privacy are very important to us and we take all precautions to protect your information. When you share your WISDOM as part of the study, you are sharing with physicians and a research team that is part of the top breast health network in the country. We are committed to keeping your information secure.  Here are some of the steps we take:

Still, loss of privacy is a risk of taking part in the WISDOM Study. The chance of this is very small, but not zero.