Olivia Munn’s Doctor Shares How to Interpret Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Score

Dr. Thaïs Aliabadi opened up to the 'Today' show about treating the actress, who revealed on Wednesday that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer

<p>Olivia Munn/Instagram</p> Olivia Munn

Olivia Munn/Instagram

Olivia Munn

Dr. Thaïs Aliabadi is speaking out about how to interpret a Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Score, after her patient Olivia Munn said the tool "saved my life."

The OG/GYN and She MD podcast co-host spoke to the Today show in a segment that aired Thursday morning, one day after Munn revealed in an emotional Instagram post that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Munn, 37, praised Dr. Aliabadi in her post, calling the obstetrician and gynecologist her "guardian angel." The actress admitted that she wouldn't have found her cancer had it not been for Dr. Aliabadi's suggestion to calculate her Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Score.

Related: Olivia Munn’s Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Score 'Saved My Life' — What to Know About the Tool

According to the National Cancer Institute, the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool (BCRAT) — also known as The Gail Model — is used by healthcare professionals to estimate a woman's risk of developing invasive breast cancer within the next five years and within her lifetime (up to age 90).

Taking as little as five minutes to complete, it uses a women’s personal information to determine the risk — including age, age at first period, age at the time of the birth of a first child, family history of breast cancer (mothers, sisters, daughters), number of past breast biopsies (whether positive or negative), number of breast biopsies showing a presence of atypical hyperplasia, and race/ethnicity.

<p>Olivia Munn/Instagram</p> Olivia Munn getting a mammogram

Olivia Munn/Instagram

Olivia Munn getting a mammogram

Dr. Aliabadi discovered Munn's lifetime risk for breast cancer was at 37.3%.

Those results led to the X-Men: Apocalypse actress to having an MRI, ultrasound and biopsies — and ultimately learning she had Luminal B in both breasts, "an aggressive, fast moving cancer."

Asked about the score on Today, Dr. Aliabadi revealed how she helps her patients interpret it. "The way I explain it to my patients, 'If you had a 37 and a half percent chance of boarding the plane that would crash, would you ever board that plane?'"

The medical professional — known for working with stars like Rihanna and Khloé Kardashian — went on to say that had Munn not sought treatment, "her cancer would have grown."

“I'm lucky,” Munn wrote on Instagram. “We caught it with enough time that I had options. I want the same for any woman who might have to face this one day.”

Breast cancer affects one in eight women in the United States. When analyzing the Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Score, women are classified as high risk for developing breast cancer if they have a 5-year risk of 1.67% or higher and a lifetime risk of 20% or higher.

The BCRAT cannot accurately estimate breast cancer risk for women who have previously been diagnosed with breast cancer or women who are carrying a breast-cancer-producing mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2, the National Cancer Institute noted.

In addition to staying on top of routine screenings, health officials advise women of all ages to do self-examinations. They also encourage "breast self-awareness," a practice in which one becomes familiar with how her breasts normally look and feel in order to more easily recognize anything out of the ordinary.

Related: John Mulaney Thanks Olivia Munn for 'Fighting So Hard' amid Breast Cancer Journey: 'Malc and I Adore You'

<p>Olivia Munn/Instagram</p> Olivia Munn after being diagnosed with breast cancer

Olivia Munn/Instagram

Olivia Munn after being diagnosed with breast cancer

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As for Munn, she urged others to be proactive about their health, and said on Wednesday that she's sharing her story "for any woman who might have to face this one day.”

That was appreciated by Dr. Aliabadi. "Sharing her breast cancer journey, my brave and beautiful patient @Oliviamunn is inspiring countless women," the OB/GYN wrote on Instagram. "Unfortunately, numerous women are unaware of their elevated lifetime risk and may end up with breast cancer at a more advanced stage. Olivia, your courage shines a light on those suffering in silence. I'm so proud of you."

Responded Munn: "Words will never be able to describe the gratitude I have for you. I love you so much. Thank you thank you thank you."

Today airs weekdays on NBC beginning at 7 a.m. ET.

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