Breast Health is one aspect of our overall health. For women, this is particularly important. The breasts serve unique physiological and psychological functions, and are also one of the most common sources for cancer.

Nearly one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during her lifetime. Early detection is the key to successful treatment. The guidelines for breast cancer screening are constantly in flux. While we debate the details, everyone agrees that any screening is better than no screening.

While attempts are being made to create a national standard for breast cancer screening, it will never be able to adapt to the needs of every individual. Women with a family history of breast cancer in close relatives, and who have specific risk factors will require earlier and more frequent screening. These types or decisions will always be best made after a detailed and thoughtful consultation with your primary medical doctor.

If you have a lump in your breast, the best advise is to seek prompt treatment. If it is not cancer, you can relax. If it is cancer, the sooner treatment is started, the less treatment is needed and the better your chances for a cure.

Breast Cancer Risk Factors

Breast Cancer Risk Factors fall into two categories: those we can do something about and those we can’t. Let’s look at the ones we can do anything about first.

Other genes’ mutations have been associated with breast cancer including: ATM, p53, CHEK2, PTEN, CDH1 and STK11. These mutations are much rarer and do not increase the risk of breast cancer as much as mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. More mutations are likely to be identified as more investigations are performed. Genetic testing may be helpful for patients with a family history of breast cancer, but all genetic screening should be guided by your doctor and a genetic counselor to explain the implications.

Risk factor for breast cancer that we have control over include:

Factor not associated with breast cancer include:

Breast Cancer Signs and Symptoms

Thanks to mammography, more and more breast cancers are being diagnosed before the development of signs and symptoms. However, mammograms do not find every breast cancer, so it is important to know the signs and symptoms of breast cancer:

Breast Cancer Screening

The American Cancer Society recommends the following for routine breast cancer screening in women who have no signs or symptoms of breast cancer:

Breast Cancer Screening will continue to change as we learn what methods work best, and as new technology develops. Prevention, is the best medicine, So avoiding behaviors that are know to increase the risk for breast cancer is paramount. At this time, is not possible to possible to truly prevent breast cancer, but early detection is the key to successful treatment. Breast Cancer Screening is designed to find breast cancer early, before it causes symptoms and before it spreads outside the breast. With early detection, a better prognosis and increased survival is much more likely.

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