In recent years, modeling cancer in populations has led to improved screening and prevention initiatives as there are many issues in breast cancer early detection and treatment that lack conclusive support from published studies. Currently it is not possible to evaluate the full impact of these screening or treatment interventions for the province of British Columbia. Therefore, we are developing a breast cancer micro-simulation model that will be used to further improve breast cancer screening and treatment interventions and strategies.

 

A comprehensive map of the breast cancer care paths used in British Columbia was developed, including early detection, diagnosis, treatment (surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy), survivorship and end-of-life care. This map forms a framework from which a micro-simulation model of breast cancer in BC will be developed and validated.  This framework was then populated and validated with screening and treatment data for individuals diagnosed between years 2001-2005. This step of populating our platform with data is a gold standard in population modeling, and will allow a comprehensive epidemiological model to be developed and validated for the BC population. Future work will also involve integration of screening and treatment costing data into the model.

 

As a final product, the model will evaluate the impact of screening and other treatment interventions on downstream factors such as population health and costs to the healthcare system. Availability of such a breast cancer model will enable researchers and policy makers to evaluate the effects and effectiveness of different interventions before they get implemented, with particular emphasis on individual risk-based personalized screening methods.