The WISDOM STUDY: An Important First Step to Better Breast Cancer Detection

Join Women Who Are Changing the Way We Screen for Breast Cancer

When you have so much controversy and so many smart people believing in very, very different things, you need to break the deadlock. The only way to break the deadlock is with wisdom.”— Dr. Laura Esserman

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, UNITED STATES, November 15, 2021 / — The WISDOM Study, a groundbreaking and wide-reaching research investigation, is garnering the attention of women across the nation who want to help make breast cancer screening more up-to-date. WISDOM aims to gather data from 100,000 women of diverse backgrounds to find the safest and most effective way to detect breast cancer for every woman.

More than 40,000 women have already signed up to participate in The WISDOM Study, which has the potential to revolutionize the way women screen for breast cancer by assessing an individual’s specific risk factors for the disease, including genetic risk factors, lifestyle and breast density. Unlike most breast cancer risk-factor studies, WISDOM collects data across a wide spectrum of diverse populations instead of relying on data gathered mostly from women of European ancestries. Women of all backgrounds are encouraged to enroll.

The WISDOM Study (Women Informed to Screen Depending On Measures of risk) is a longitudinal investigation, similar to the famed Framingham Heart Study, which showed the role that poor diet, smoking and lack of exercise played in the risk for cardiovascular disease. This landmark WISDOM Study is designed to do for breast cancer what Framingham—now considered one of the most important epidemiological studies in medical history—did for heart health. This video shows how The WISDOM Study works:

Early detection of breast cancer is vital to having a better chance of successful treatment and survival. Despite significant advancements in breast cancer research over the past 30 years, medical experts and authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the American Cancer Society, have published all based on only one risk factor: age. While age was an important first-line defense years ago, it no longer reflects the advanced scientific knowledge available today.

“When you have so much controversy and so many smart people believing in very, very different things, you need to break the deadlock,” said Laura Esserman, M.D., M.B.A., Director, UCSF Carol Franc Buck Breast Care Center and Professor of Surgery and Radiology at the University of California San Francisco in a recent article that appeared in TIME. “The only way to break the deadlock is with wisdom,” Dr. Esserman adds. “The only way you get wisdom is to test new approaches, and the best way to do this is run a trial. We all deserve a chance to have better outcomes.” Read the four-part TIME series by Alice Park and watch videos here:

Despite advances in the past 30 years, breast cancer remains the second leading cause of cancer death for women in the United States. “If we learn more about who gets what type of breast cancer, we can start testing new approaches to reduce women’s risk of getting it,” Dr. Esserman says. “For example, in African American women, the risk of dying of breast cancer is higher, and this is across all cancer subtypes. These women also have a higher risk of getting a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer called, “Triple Negative Breast Cancer.” We need to do a better job of identifying the factors that predispose to these types of cancers regardless of race and work on strategies for prevention. Having a standard for risk assessment with tailored screening recommendations for all women will be an important step forward in reducing these cancer disparities. We started the WISDOM Study to develop a platform to improve the way we screen for and prevent breast cancer so we can help generations of women to come.”

Women who are 40 years of age and older, who have never received a cancer diagnosis, are encouraged to join The WISDOM Study. All steps can be completed when convenient at home. Each participant will gain access to the latest breast health and risk-reduction information provided by top medical experts. Joining WISDOM is easy, safe and makes a difference. Everything learned in the study is a step toward improving life for EVERY woman. To sign up, visit:

About The WISDOM Study
The WISDOM Study (Women Informed to Screen Depending on Measures of risk) is testing a personalized approach to screening compared to annual mammograms. The study is being conducted nationwide in conjunction with 10 recruitment hubs across the United States: five University of California medical centers, University of Chicago, Sanford Health, TopLine MD Alliance, Louisiana State University, University of Alabama Birmingham and partners across the country. This study is led by the University of California San Francisco and the Athena Breast Health Network, and has received over $25M in foundation and philanthropic support from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) including a new $9M grant aimed at increasing diversity in the study. WISDOM is making medical history and helping women now and generations to come.

Valerie Serino
King + Company
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The Future of Breast Cancer Screening and Detection – The WISDOM Study

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