Breast Cancer: Are You at Risk?
Last updated: Oct 09, 2012, 11:12 AM
By Joy Pierce Mathews for Summit Medical Group
Did you know that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer?
Did you know that breast cancer is the second most common cancer
after skin cancer among women in the United States?
These statistics from the National Cancer Institute emphasize
the importance of knowing your risk,
having self breast exams,
and getting regular clinical breast checkups,
including mammograms and ultrasounds,
to protect your breast health and overall health.
According to the American Cancer Society, most breast cancer cases (75%) occur in women with no known risk. For this reason and to protect your health, it is important for you to perform regular self breast exams and see your doctor for regular breast health checkups!
Breast Cancer Risk Facts
Certain risk factors can increase your odds of getting breast cancer. But having risk factors for breast cancer doesn't guarantee you will get the disease. For example, some women with 1 or more breast cancer risk factors never develop breast cancer. Still, it is important to be aware of your risk, regularly examine yourself for changes in your breasts, and see your doctor for routine breast checks.
Your odds of getting breast cancer are greater if you:
- Have a history of cancer in 1 breast, which makes you 3 to 4 times more likely to develop breast cancer unrelated to your first breast cancer
- Have a mother, sister, or daughter (a first-degree relative) who has or has had breast cancer, especially if it occurred before menopause and if it was in both breasts, which doubles your odds of getting the disease
- Have 2 first-degree relatives who have had or have breast cancer, which makes you 5 times more likely to get breast cancer
- Have a male relative who has had or has breast cancer, which increases your risk of getting the disease
- Are age 50 years or older - studies show 77% of women with breast cancer are age 50 years or older
- Are age 65 or older - studies show 50% of women with breast cancer are age 65 years or older
- Have inherited alterations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 breast cancer genes, which increase your risk of getting breast cancer as much as 85%
- Have had certain breast lesions known as atypical lobular or ductal hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma, which makes it 4 to 5 times more likely you'll get breast cancer
The good news is that early breast cancer detection
and breast cancer treatment can save your life!
See your doctor for a breast checkup if you answer yes to any of these questions:
- Do you or does a family member carry the breast cancer gene (BRCA)?
- Do you have relatives who had or have breast cancer?
- Do you have 2 or more same-side relatives with any kind of cancer?
- Have you had abnormal breast biopsies?
- Have you had radiation therapy or chest wall radiation before age 30?
- Have you used combination hormone therapy for more than 5 years?
The Summit Medical Group Breast Care Center
offers comprehensive care for benign breast conditions
and all stages of breast cancer.
Our physicians are experts in breast health
who can evaluate your risk
and develop a plan to monitor your breast health,
especially if you are high risk.
For more information or to schedule an appointment,
call us today at 908-277-8770.