Written by on 2/13/2014 1:15:00 PM
Many breast cancers are detected by mammograms before any symptoms appear and can help women who are diagnosed early increase their risk of survival. So, our physicians recommend asking yourself five questions to start to determine your cancer risk and get to know symptoms of breast cancer.
There are other risk factors including regular alcohol consumption, long-term use of supplemental estrogen and progestin menopausal hormone therapies. Postmenopausal women who are obese but have not used hormone therapy are also at high risk.
- Do you have a history of radiation treatment to the chest for any medical condition?
- Do you have a genetic mutation linked to breast cancer? Gene abnormalities include BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, or the syndromes Li-Fraumeni, CDH1, Cowden’s, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba.
- Do you have a history of lobular neoplasia (LCIS) or atypical ductal Hyperplasia (ADH)? Also, called LCIS, this condition is not considered breast cancer, but a risk factor. LCIS is an area of abnormal cell growth in the lobules (the milk-producing glands at the end of breast ducts) that begins in the breast tissue and remains in the lobule and does not spread.
- Do you have a family history of breast cancer? And if so, were these women diagnosed before the age of 50?
- Know your reproduction and menstrual history. Did you begin your period before the age of 12, start menopause after the age of 55, have your first-full term pregnancy after the age of 30, or never had a full-term pregnancy or are obese after menopause?
But, the key for all women is to know what normal breast tissue feels and looks like. Perform self-examinations and have routine physicals. Talk to your family to better understand if there is a history of breast cancer or any cancer in your family. Lastly, talk to your physician.
If you feel you are at risk, don’t delay. Community Breast Care can arrange appointments within 24-hours. Call 800.777.7775.