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Who Is Considered High Risk For Breast Cancer

Watch: Am I At Increased Risk

Who is at high risk for breast cancer?

It’s important to empower yourself with knowledge of your own risk factors for breast cancer.

Depending on your level of risk, your physician could refer you to the high-risk breast cancer prevention program. This program is a diverse team of care providers that includes:

  • Genetic counselors
  • Lifestyle counselors

Coras Suggested Screening Recommendations For High

  • Self-breast exams starting at age 18
  • Clinical breast exam starting at age 25
  • Annual mammogram starting at age 30
  • Annual MRI starting at age 25 or 30 depending on genetic testing and family history

CORA and CMI are proud to have received the accreditation of Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology. We are the only full-service center offering mammography, ultrasound and MRI to have earned this accreditation in Central and Eastern Oregon.

If you have a high risk of developing breast cancer, please discuss this with your referring provider. They may recommend that you see a specialist. If you have questions about your risk or referral requests, .

American Cancer Society Recommendations For The Early Detection Of Breast Cancer

Finding breast cancer early and getting state-of-the-art cancer treatment are the most important strategies to prevent deaths from breast cancer. Breast cancer thats found early, when its small and has not spread, is easier to treat successfully. Getting regular screening tests is the most reliable way to find breast cancer early. The American Cancer Society has screening guidelines for women at average risk of breast cancer, and for those at high risk for breast cancer.

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Clinical Breast Exam And Breast Self

Research has not shown a clear benefit of regular physical breast exams done by either a health professional or by women themselves . There is very little evidence that these tests help find breast cancer early when women also get screening mammograms. Most often when breast cancer is detected because of symptoms , a woman discovers the symptom during usual activities such as bathing or dressing.Women should be familiar with how their breasts normally look and feel and should report any changes to a health care provider right away.

Understanding Your Risk For Breast Cancer

Excise It. High Risk Breast Lesions

Breast cancer statistics say it’s the most common cancer in young adults ages 15 to 39. Every year in the U.S. alone more than 12,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in adults under age 40. All young adults should be vigilant about their breast health. The information on this page will help you better understand breast cancer risk factors, manage your health, and connect to others at high risk.

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Why Is Routine Screening Not Recommended For Women 40

The chance of getting breast cancer is lower and the chance of having a false positive mammogram is higher in the 4049 age group, which can lead to further investigation, including other unnecessary procedures such as breast removal. We recommend not screening in women aged 4049, however women in this age group who are interested in screening and less concerned about its undesirable consequences should discuss their options with a physician.

With The Cdc Warning That People With Weakened Immune Systems Are More Likely To Suffer Severe Illness From Coronavirus Many Are Wondering: Who Falls In This Category An Oncology Nurse Practitioner And Md Have The Answers

This past week, the co-operative grocery stores in my area announced their first hour of operation every day will be reserved for the elderly, pregnant women and “at-risk populations as defined by the CDC.”

This decision has many in my community wondering who counts as high risk. According to the Centers for Disease Control , those with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes or lung disease are at higher risk for severe illness if they contract coronavirus. But the CDC also notes that people with a “weakened immune system” are among those “most at risk.”

So what exactly does it mean to be immunosuppressed and who falls in that category?

Who Has a Weakened Immune System

People who are immunosuppressed have immune systems that are highly susceptible to infectious diseases, including COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by coronavirus. Not only are these people more likely to contract illnesses, sometimes repeatedly, but they are also more likely to have “unusually severe” symptoms.

A person can become immunocompromised in four major ways: through a congenital disorder through acquired conditions such as diabetes and HIV through autoimmune diseases and through certain medications and treatments.

I recently spoke with Lisa Kennedy Sheldon, Ph.D., chief clinical officer at the Oncology Nursing Society, and an oncology nurse practitioner, about the link between cancer treatments and immunosuppression.

“Rushed to the ER:” Life with Immunocompromise

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Family History Of Breast Cancer

Family history and genetics are two risk factors for breast cancer. While researchers continue to search for the definite causes of breast cancer, some consider young women at high risk for breast cancer if they have either a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer and/or genetic mutations associated with breast cancer.

All cancers come from genetic mutations. Usually, these happen in specific cells during a persons life. In some cases, however, people inherit mutations that can influence cancer. When these mutations help cause breast cancer, doctors call it hereditary breast cancer.

Hereditary breast cancer may be indicated by a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer. This could mean two or more relatives with breast or ovarian cancer, a relative with both breast and ovarian cancer, a male relative with breast cancer or a relative diagnosed at a young age with breast cancer.

What Are The Potential Harms Of Risk

Imaging women who are high risk for breast cancer

As with any other major surgery, bilateral prophylactic mastectomy and bilateral prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy have potential complications or harms, such as bleeding or infection . Also, both surgeries are irreversible.

Bilateral prophylactic mastectomy can also affect a womanâs psychological well-being due to a change in body image and the loss of normal breast functions. Although most women who choose to have this surgery are satisfied with their decision, they can still experience anxiety and concerns about body image . The most common psychological side effects include difficulties with body appearance, with feelings of femininity, and with sexual relationships . Women who undergo total mastectomies lose nipple sensation, which may hinder sexual arousal.

Bilateral prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy causes a sudden drop in estrogen production, which will induce early menopause in a premenopausal woman . Surgical menopause can cause an abrupt onset of menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes, insomnia, anxiety, and depression, and some of these symptoms can be severe. The long-term effects of surgical menopause include decreased sex drive, vaginal dryness, and decreased bone density.

Women who have severe menopausal symptoms after undergoing bilateral prophylactic salpingo-oophorectomy may consider using short-term menopausal hormone therapy after surgery to alleviate these symptoms.

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Assessing The Risk Of Carrying A Germline Mutation

In addition to increasing the risks of breast and ovarian cancers, germline mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 are associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer and BRCA2 mutations are associated with increased risks of pancreatic and gastric cancers and melanoma . BRCA mutations tend to cluster within certain ethnic groups, such as Ashkenazi Jews , and in some populations, such as those in the Netherlands , Iceland , and Sweden . Germline mutations that are associated with familial breast cancer have been identified in other genes, including TP53 , PTEN , ATM , CHEK2 , NBS1 , RAD50 , BRIP , and PALB2 , and others are suspected .

There is evidence that strategies to reduce the risk of cancer in populations that carry such mutations are effective . Therefore, identifying individuals who should undergo genetic testing for mutations is very important. Although formal mutational analysis on all patients is possible, it would be a laborious and expensive process: Full sequencing of BRCA1 and BRCA2 costs approximately US $3000 in North America but is cheaper in Europe because of the absence of substantial patent rights. Therefore, most family history clinics have been offering such testing to patients who have high-risk features, such as early-onset breast cancers or a family history consistent with germline mutations.

What Are The Early Warning Signs Of Breast Cancer That Should Prompt Medical Evaluation Slice

The majority of breast cancers have no symptoms and are detected during screening with mammogram or other breast imaging studies.

However, some warning signs include:

  • A new lump in the breast or in the armpit
  • Dimpling or thickening of the breast skin
  • New redness on the skin
  • New pulling in of the nipple
  • Nipple discharge
  • Change in shape or contour of the breast
  • New and persistent breast pain.

If you have any symptoms that might worry you, please contact your doctor.

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American Cancer Society Screening Recommendations For Women At Average Breast Cancer Risk

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many elective procedures being put on hold, and this has led to a substantial decline in cancer screening. Health care facilities are providing cancer screening during the pandemic with many safety precautions in place. Learn how you can talk to your doctor and what steps you can take to plan, schedule, and get your regular cancer screenings in Cancer Screening During the COVID-19 Pandemic.

These guidelines are for women at average risk for breast cancer. For screening purposes, a woman is considered to be at average risk if she doesnt have a personal history of breast cancer, a strong family history of breast cancer, or a genetic mutation known to increase risk of breast cancer , and has not had chest radiation therapy before the age of 30.

Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year.

Women 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.

Women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms. Screening should continue as long as a woman is in good health and is expected to live at least 10 more years.

All women should understand what to expect when getting a mammogram for breast cancer screening what the test can and cannot do.

Clinical breast exams are not recommended for breast cancer screening among average-risk women at any age.

Risk Factors You Can Change

Risk factors for breast cancer.
  • Not being physically active. Women who are not physically active have a higher risk of getting breast cancer.
  • Being overweight or obese after menopause. Older women who are overweight or obese have a higher risk of getting breast cancer than those at a normal weight.
  • Taking hormones. Some forms of hormone replacement therapy taken during menopause can raise risk for breast cancer when taken for more than five years. Certain oral contraceptives also have been found to raise breast cancer risk.
  • Reproductive history. Having the first pregnancy after age 30, not breastfeeding, and never having a full-term pregnancy can raise breast cancer risk.
  • Drinking alcohol. Studies show that a womans risk for breast cancer increases with the more alcohol she drinks.

Research suggests that other factors such as smoking, being exposed to chemicals that can cause cancer, and changes in other hormones due to night shift working also may increase breast cancer risk.

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Insurance Coverage Of Breast Mri Screening

Insurance coverage for breast MRI screening varies. You may want to check with your insurance company before getting a breast MRI for screening to see if its covered.


  • If you or a loved one needs more information about breast health or breast cancer, call the Komen Breast Care Helpline at 1-877 GO KOMEN . All calls are answered by a trained specialist or oncology social worker in English and Spanish, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. ET. You can also email the helpline at .
  • We offer an online support community through our closed Facebook Group Komen Breast Cancer group. The Facebook group provides a place where those with a connection to breast cancer can discuss each others experiences and build strong relationships to provide support to each other. Visit Facebook and search for Komen Breast Cancer group to request to join the closed group.

How Do I Know If I Am At High Risk For Breast Cancer

Some women have a higher than average risk of developing breast cancer. You may be at a higher risk if you have:

  • strong family history of breast cancer
  • certain gene mutations, such as the BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation
  • a personal history of lobular carcinoma in situ , ductal carcinoma in situ , invasive breast cancer or atypical hyperplasia
  • dense breast tissue
  • received radiation therapy to the breast or chest

Talk to your doctor about your risk. If you are at higher than average risk, you may need a personal plan for testing. This may include:

  • mammography at a younger age
  • more frequent mammography

Also Check: How To Cure Breast Cancer With Baking Soda

What Does The Task Force Recommend For Breast Self Examination And Clinical Breast Exam

The Task Force recommends against routine BSE and CBE , after their review found that neither reduced breast cancer or related deaths in women aged 4074. Furthermore, two large studies identified no reduction in deaths from breast cancer associated with teaching BSE to women aged 31 to 64, but found evidence of increased harm.

Can A Woman Have Risk

Signs of high risk breast cancer – Mayo Clinic

Yes. Some women who have been diagnosed with cancer in one breast, particularly those who are known to be at very high risk, may consider having the other breast removed as well, even if there is no sign of cancer in that breast. Prophylactic surgery to remove a contralateral breast during breast cancer surgery reduces the risk of breast cancer in that breast , although it is not yet known whether this risk reduction translates into longer survival for the patient .

However, doctors often discourage contralateral prophylactic mastectomy for women with cancer in one breast who do not meet the criteria of being at very high risk of developing a contralateral breast cancer. For such women, the risk of developing another breast cancer, either in the same or the contralateral breast, is very small , especially if they receive adjuvant chemotherapy or hormone therapy as part of their cancer treatment .

Given that most women with breast cancer have a low risk of developing the disease in their contralateral breast, women who are not known to be at very high risk but who remain concerned about cancer development in their other breast may want to consider options other than surgery to further reduce their risk of a contralateral breast cancer.

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Breast Cancer: Risk Factors And Prevention

Have questions about breast cancer? Ask here.

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about the factors that increase the chance of developing breast cancer. Use the menu to see other pages.

A risk factor is anything that increases a persons chance of developing cancer. Although risk factors often influence the development of cancer, most do not directly cause cancer. Some people with several risk factors never develop cancer, while others with no known risk factors do. Knowing your risk factors and talking about them with your doctor may help you make more informed lifestyle and health care choices.

Most breast cancers are sporadic, meaning they develop from damage to a persons genes that occurs by chance after they are born. There is no risk of the person passing this gene on to their children, as the underlying cause of sporadic breast cancer is environmental factors.

Inherited breast cancers are less common, making up 5% to 10% of cancers. Inherited breast cancer occurs when gene changes called mutations are passed down within a family from parent to child. Many of those mutations are in tumor suppressor genes, such as BRCA1, BRCA2, and PALB2. These genes normally keep cells from growing out of control and turning into cancer. But when these cells have a mutation, it can cause them to grow out of control.

The following factors may raise a womans risk of developing breast cancer:

American Cancer Society Screening Recommendations For Women At High Risk

Women who are at high risk for breast cancer based on certain factors should get a breast MRI and a mammogram every year, typically starting at age 30. This includes women who:

  • Have a lifetime risk of breast cancer of about 20% to 25% or greater, according to risk assessment tools that are based mainly on family history
  • Have a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation
  • Have a first-degree relative with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, and have not had genetic testing themselves
  • Had radiation therapy to the chest when they were between the ages of 10 and 30 years
  • Have Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, or have first-degree relatives with one of these syndromes

The American Cancer Society recommends against MRI screening for women whose lifetime risk of breast cancer is less than 15%.

Theres not enough evidence to make a recommendation for or against yearly MRI screening for women who have a higher lifetime risk based on certain factors, such as:

If MRI is used, it should be in addition to, not instead of, a screening mammogram. This is because although an MRI is more likely to detect cancer than a mammogram, it may still miss some cancers that a mammogram would detect.

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