Breast Cancer Awareness: Early Screening Saves Lives
Every woman is at risk for developing breast cancer but certain factors increase your risk of developing the disease and should be discussed with your healthcare provider at the earliest.
In the United States, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women. According to USPFTF, in 2015, an estimated of 232,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and 40,000 women died of it. A woman aged 55 to 64 is among the most frequently diagnosed with the disease and the median age of death is 68 years.
Every woman is at risk for developing breast cancer but certain factors increase your risk of developing the disease and should be discussed with your healthcare provider to ensure breast cancer awareness at the earliest.
- Family history of breast or other cancers
- Abnormal genes linked to breast cancer
- Past benign breast biopsies
- History of being treated with radiation on face or chest before the age of 30
- Density of breast
- Obesity or overweight
- Physically inactive
- Use of postmenopausal combined hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
- Alcohol consumption of more than 3 drinks per week
- Eating processed and trans-fat food
- Cigarette smoking
- History of whether you had or not full-term pregnancy or history of breastfeeding
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- All women should perform monthly self-breast examination
- Women of age 25 to 30 should have formal breast cancer risk assessment performed by their healthcare provider
- Starting at age 40, women who are at average risk of breast cancer should have annual screening mammograms
- Women with known genetic mutation or radiation to chest wall at earlier life should have annual screening with MRI at age 25 and annual mammograms at age 30
- Annual screening mammogram starting at age 35 is recommended for women with higher than average breast cancer risk due to strong family history of the disease
- Women of age 50 or older should have yearly screening mammograms until their life expectancy is less than 10 years
Early screening and awareness can help early detection of breast cancer and decreases your chances of dying from the disease. Talk to your healthcare provider and practice healthy lifestyle by maintaining healthy weight, decreasing alcohol consumption and avoid smoking.
Edited by: Dr Juma Bharadia