What Are The Risk Factors For Breast Cancer
Being a woman and getting older are the main risk factors for breast cancer.
Studies have shown that your risk for breast cancer is due to a combination of factors. The main factors that influence your risk include being a woman and getting older. Most breast cancers are found in women who are 50 years old or older.
Some women will get breast cancer even without any other risk factors that they know of. Having a risk factor does not mean you will get the disease, and not all risk factors have the same effect. Most women have some risk factors, but most women do not get breast cancer. If you have breast cancer risk factors, talk with your doctor about ways you can lower your risk and about screening for breast cancer.
When Did My Wife Find Out She Had Breast Cancer
My whole ride home the thought that kept flashing through my mind was, My wife has breast cancer. It was very somber and surreal, Dave remembers. That was in March 2018. His wife Mary had a mammogram the year prior and was told to come back in less than a year for a follow up due to her dense breast tissue.
Breast Reconstruction: An Age Limit
Study Shows Older Women Shouldn’t Be Ruled out for Reconstruction After Mastectomy
The study comes from Cameron Bowman, MD, and colleagues at Vancouver, Canada’s University of British Columbia. It was published in the July issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Bowman’s team studied 75 women age 60-77 who got breast reconstruction after mastectomy during an eight-year period.
Seventy percent of the women reported good or excellent results from their breast reconstruction, and nearly 90% said they would choose the same treatment again.
“All types of reconstruction should be an option for women older than 60,” the researchers conclude.
“Age as an isolated factor should not deter physicians from offering these women the option of breast reconstruction,” they say.
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Stay Away From Tobacco
There is no safe form of tobacco. If you smoke cigarettes or use other types of tobacco products, it’s best to stop. It’s also important to stay away from tobacco smoke . Both using tobacco products and being exposed to tobacco smoke can cause cancer as well as many other health problems. If you don’t use tobacco products, you can help others by encouraging the people around you to quit. Call us at 1-800-227-2345 for help, or see;How to Quit Smoking or Smokeless Tobacco;to learn more about quitting.
Understand Your Family History
Talk with your family members about cancer on both sides of your family.
- If your mother or sister has had breast or ovarian cancer before the age of 50, its recommended you get screened annually with mammogram and ultrasound, from 10 years prior to their age at diagnosis, but not earlier than 30 years of age.
- Women at potentially high risk of breast cancer should be referred to a breast specialist for advice on appropriate screening
- High-risk screening may also include breast MRIs.
While the risk of inherited breast cancer is low, talk about it with your doctor. If you are potentially at high risk, you may be eligible for genetic testing with Genetic Health Service NZ. This assessment would require a referral from your doctor.
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What Are The Benefits Of Having A Mammogram
Mammograms can find some breast cancers early, when the cancer may be more easily treated. Often a mammogram can find cancers that are too small for you or your doctor to feel.
Studies show that a small number of women who have mammograms may be less likely to die from breast cancer.
The risk for breast cancer goes up as you get older. In general, women younger than 50 are at a lower risk for breast cancer. Because of this, women ages 50 to 70 are more likely to benefit from having a mammogram than women who are in their 40s.
Who Was The Woman Who Was Told She Had Breast Cancer
Being told I had cancer was awful, but then to go through all of the treatment and surgery, to then be told it was unnecessary was traumatizing, the Stoke-on-Trent, England native told the outlet. The heartbreaking experience began at the end of 2016 when Boyle, then a 25-year-old mother of one, started having difficulty breastfeeding her son.
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The Decision Depends On Several Factors Including Your Breast Cancer Risk Life Expectancy And Personal Preferences
As you get older, your body isn’t the only thing that’s changing. So are the guidelines for taking care of it. Breast cancer screening guidelines are a case in point. The current U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines recommend a mammogram every two years for women ages 50 to 75 with an average risk of developing breast cancer. For older women, the USPSTF said there isn’t enough evidence of the potential risks and benefits of mammography on which to base a recommendation.
Although breast cancer is a leading cause of death in older women, women over 75 haven’t been included in studies of mammography. However, there is evidence that most breast cancers detected in older women are relatively slow growing and easily treated. While a mammogram performed today might detect a cancer that would not spread or metastasize for several years, the percentage of women who survive to that point decreases with each passing year.
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Unique Challenges For Young Adults
Breast cancer in young adults is just different. We are at a different phase of our lives and encounter unique challenges compared to older persons. These challenges may significantly impact our quality and length of life. Some of the unique challenges and issues young adults face:
- The possibility of early menopause and sexual dysfunction brought on by breast cancer treatment
- Fertility issues, because breast cancer treatment can affect a womanâs ability and plans to have children
- Many young women are raising small children while enduring treatment and subsequent side effects
- Young breast cancer survivors have a higher prevalence of psychosocial issues such as anxiety and depression13
- Questions about pregnancy after diagnosis
- Heightened concerns about body image, especially after breast cancer-related surgery and treatment
- Whether married or single, intimacy issues may arise for women diagnosed with breast cancer
- Challenges to financial stability due to workplace issues, lack of sufficient health insurance and the cost of cancer care
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Living With Breast Cancer
Being diagnosed with breast cancer can affect daily life in many ways, depending on what stage;it’s at and;the treatment you will have.
How people cope with the diagnosis and treatment varies from person to person. There are several forms of support available, if you need it.
Forms of support may include:
- family and friends, who can be a powerful support system
- communicating with other people in the same situation
- finding out as much as possible about your condition
- not trying to do too much or overexerting yourself
- making time for yourself
Find out more about living with breast cancer.
Taking Charge: Who Gets Breast Cancer
There are no rules about who gets this disease. The two most significant risk factors are being a woman, and increasing age. However, there are other factors that may increase your risk, and some that may lower it.
The development of breast cancer may be influenced by factors that affect the levels of female hormones that circulate in your body throughout life. These factors include the age when you began your menstrual period, the number of times you have been pregnant, your age at first pregnancy, whether you have breastfed your children, and your level of physical activity.
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Your Race And Ethnicity
White and Black women have the highest risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime. Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic/Latina womens breast cancer rates fall in between two major groupings while American Indian and Alaska Native women are on the lowest end of risk.
While white women are more likely to develop breast cancer than Black women overall, they tend to be diagnosed at an older age . Black women have the highest breast cancer rates among women under age 40. Black women make up a higher percentage of triple-negative breast cancer cases.
What to do: If your race or ethnicity places you at higher risk, make sure you follow all screening recommendations to improve your chances of catching cancer early.
Breast Cancer Important Facts Every Young Woman Should Know
Cancer is a word that can send a chill down your spine whenever spoken.; Breast cancer occurs when cells in the breast tissues replicate in an uncontrolled manner thereby causing a tumor. It is one of the leading causes of death among women of reproductive age. Abnormal growths in or around your breasts or armpits, abnormal discharge, random pains or skin irritation, change in breast size or shape, flakiness or redness around the areola; these are warning signs of breast cancer that, if noticed, need to be dealt with as soon as possible.
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Spotting More Early Cases
The researchers found that new cases of early-stage breast cancer among 70- to 75-year-olds rose sharply after national screening was introduced, from 248.7 to 362.9 per 100,000 women.
Although there was a drop in the numbers of new cases of advanced breast cancer, the overall decrease was small, dropping from 58.6 before to 51.8 cases per 100,000 women, after the national screening program was introduced.
Among a smaller group of women aged 76 to 80, who were also included in the study for comparison, as they were not screened, new cases of early stage disease fell slightly, but the numbers of new cases of advanced breast cancer did not change significantly.
For every advanced stage cancer detected by screening among 70- to 75-year-olds, the researchers calculated that around 20 extra early-stage cancers were picked up, and therefore “over-diagnosed.”
They say this over-diagnosis is important, because over-treatment can undermine quality of life, partly because older people are more vulnerable to the side effects of breast cancer treatment.
Breast Cancer Diagnosed During Or After Pregnancy
Being pregnant at the time of diagnosis of breast cancer has been associated with a worse outcome. In one study of 797 such cases, compared with 4,177 non-pregnancy-associated breast cancer controls, women diagnosed while pregnant had larger, more advanced tumors, a greater incidence of receptor-negative tumors, and a higher death rate . A smaller study found no association between pregnancy and increased mortality. In contrast, pregnancy and childbirth following a diagnosis of breast cancer do not increase mortality, and actually may improve survival. One study found that 438 women age <45 years at diagnosis, who delivered a child 10 or more months following a diagnosis of breast cancer, had a decreased relative risk of death , compared to women who did not bear children following diagnosis. Women who were pregnant at the time they were diagnosed had a mortality rate similar to the latter group. This suggests that childbirth following breast cancer diagnosis does not increase mortality.
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Your Genes Play A Huge Role
There are certain genes that help lower the risk of breast cancer and many other types of cancer. BRCA1 and BRCA2, when they are normal, act as tumor suppressors, preventing the cells from dividing rapidly and aggressively. However, there could be an alteration in these genes, a mutation, that could make them act abnormally and increase the risk of developing cancer rather than suppress it.
There has been a myth that older women are the only ones at risk of developing breast tumors. However, young women are also at risk. While old age does contribute to higher risk, the aforementioned predisposing factors and genetic mutations could make a younger woman more vulnerable.
When Do Experts Advise Starting Mammograms
For women who are at average risk for breast cancer, there are no easy answers for when to start having mammograms. Recommendations for when to start having mammograms vary from province to province. Talk to your doctor about what is right for you.
For women who are at average risk for breast cancer, the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care recommends the following guidelines.footnote 1
- Ages 40 to 49: Regular mammograms are not recommended.
- Ages 50 to 74: Regular mammograms are recommended.
- Age 75 and older: You may want to talk to your doctor about whether you need breast cancer screening.
Most experts agree that all women should be informed about the risks and benefits of mammograms and offered screening by age 50.
When to stop having mammograms is another decision. You and your doctor will decide on the right age to stop screening based on your personal preferences and overall heath.
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Can Breast Cancer In Younger Women Be Prevented
For women with a family history that is suggestive of a hereditary predisposition for breast cancer, a referral for genetic counseling may be appropriate. Identifying such genetic conditions will allow for a more personalized discussion on screening and preventive treatment options. For example, screening in BRCA mutation carriers begins at the age of 25.
Measures that all women can take to reduce breast cancer risk include:
- Achieving and maintaining ideal body weight
- Limiting alcohol consumption
- Getting regular exercise
That being said, if breast cancer does develop, early detection and prompt treatment can significantly increase a woman’s chances of survival. More than 90% of women whose breast cancer is found in an early stage will survive.
Young women should be counseled on breast awareness and to report any breast changes to their healthcare provider. These changes can include:
Should You Talk To Your Doctor About Breast Cancer
Understanding breast cancer risk factors, knowing your personal risk of developing breast cancer, and recognizing the signs and symptoms of breast cancer can help women seek the care that they need, when they need it.
Take our Breast Cancer Risk Quiz to learn more about your personal risk. The quiz takes less than one minute to complete.
If you are 40 years or older, schedule a mammogram. The Breast Center along with The American Medical Association, The American College of Radiology, the American Cancer Society, the Society of Breast Imaging, and the National Cancer Institute recommend that women start getting a screening mammogram every year starting at age 40.
You dont have to wait until youre 40 to talk to your doctor about breast cancer, though. Meet with the specialists at the Breast Center if you have questions or concerns about breast cancer or breast health. Request an appointment online or call 479-442-6266.
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General Considerations For Screening
The goal of screening for cancer is to detect preclinical disease in healthy, asymptomatic patients to prevent adverse outcomes, improve survival, and avoid the need for more intensive treatments. Screening tests have both benefits and adverse consequences .
Breast self-examination, breast self-awareness, clinical breast examination, and mammography all have been used alone or in combination to screen for breast cancer. In general, more intensive screening detects more disease. Screening intensity can be increased by combining multiple screening methods, extending screening over a wider age range, or repeating the screening test more frequently. However, more frequent use of the same screening test typically is associated with diminishing returns and an increased rate of screening-related harms. Determining the appropriate combination of screening methods, the age to start screening, the age to stop screening, and how frequently to repeat the screening tests require finding the appropriate balance of benefits and harms. Determining this balance can be difficult because some issues, particularly the importance of harms, are subjective and valued differently from patient to patient. This balance can depend on other factors, particularly the characteristics of the screening tests in different populations and at different ages.
Benefits Of Mammographic Screening
The ACS systematic review also examined the effect of screening mammography on life expectancy. Although the review concluded that there was high-quality evidence that mammographic screening increases life expectancy by decreasing breast cancer mortality, the authors were not able to estimate the size of the increase 23.
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How Big Was The Tumor In Marys Breast
The mammogram and other scans that afternoon confirmed the cancer, says Dave. At 64 years old, Mary was diagnosed with stage 3 HER2-positive cancer in her left breast. The tumor in her breast measured about 10 centimeters in diameter. You have to get over the sadness pretty quickly because theres a lot of work to do and a lot to think about.
Cancer Drugs For Older Women
multidisciplinary teamBut overall, Dr. Tonelli remains in good health and continues to stay active. A little inspiration can go a long way.Do you want to make a difference in our community, like Dr. Tonelli? Visit our volunteer information center to find out how you can help brighten the day for local cancer patients.
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