Did you know that one in eight U.S. women will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes? Or that in 2016 alone, an estimated 246,660 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in U.S. women? While these numbers are scary, it also means that more breast cancer is being caught thanks in large part to detection tests. In fact, there is a 99 percent five-year relative survival rate of early stage breast cancer. Ninety-nine percent – that is an inspiring statistic! And with October being breast cancer awareness month, it’s the perfect time to a share what we hope could be life-saving information for you and/or the women you love.

One of the most important factors in early detection is to know your risk. Are you of average risk or higher than average risk? If you have no personal or family history of breast cancer, no genetic mutation to increase your risk such as BRCA and you have not had radiation therapy to the chest before the age of 30, you are most likely considered to be of average risk.

If you have personal or family history – especially a first degree relative (mom, sister, daughter), have the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, have had radiation to the chest between the ages of 10 – 30 or if you or a first-degree relative have Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, you are considered to be of higher than average risk.

These are the guidelines for both risk levels:

Average Risk
Ages 40 – 44: Choice to start annual mammograms if you wish
Ages 45 – 54: Get a mammogram every year
Agest 55 and up: Get a mammogram every two years or have the choice for a yearly one

Higher than Average Risk
Receive an MRI and a mammogram annually beginning at age 30 and continue as long as you are in good health.

Most doctors believe that early detection tests save thousands of lives each and every year. They also feel that even more lives could be saved if even more women and their physicians took advantage of these tests. So, please, schedule those mammograms ladies – and MRIs if need be – they really can save lives.

And while you cannot prevent breast cancer, or any cancer for that matter, there are several healthy habits worth adopting that can help to reduce the risk. Some of these include maintaining a healthy weight, staying physically active, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, not smoking and limiting alcohol consumption.

If you’d like to learn even more about breast cancer, early detection or how you can reduce your risk, please don’t hesitate to contact us!





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