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absolute risk (AB-soh-loot risk)

A measure of the risk of a certain event happening. In cancer research, it is the likelihood that a
person who is free of a specific type of cancer at a given age will develop that cancer over a certain
period of time. For example, a woman 35 years of age, with no known risk factors for breast cancer,
has an absolute risk of getting breast cancer over a lifetime of 90 years of about 13.5%, meaning one
out of every seven women will develop breast cancer.

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