Breast Cancer Screening

Breast Cancer Screening 
 
Mammography can detect breast cancer in its earliest stages, improving the chances for successful treatment. If you are age 40 and over, get a mammogram every year, as well as a clinical breast exam by a health professional. If you are in your 20s or 30s, have a clinical breast exam by a health professional as part of a periodic health exam, preferably every 3 years. If you have a family history of breast cancer, talk to your doctor about when and how often to get a mammogram. Learn how to do a self-breast exam. Discuss the benefits and limitations with your health care provider. 

 Maintain a healthy weight. Obesity has been associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. Some studies suggest that high-fat diets also increase the risk of breast cancer.  There is a predisposition in some families then;  younger woman has to be aware.

Inherited gene mutations

Certain inherited DNA changes can increase the risk for developing cancer and are responsible for the cancers that run in some families. For example, the BRCA genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) are tumor suppressor genes. Mutations in these genes can be inherited from parents. When they are mutated, they no longer suppress abnormal growth, and cancer is more likely to develop.

Women have already begun to benefit from advances in understanding the genetic basis of breast cancer. Genetic testing can identify some women who have inherited mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 tumor suppressor genes (or less commonly in other genes such as PTEN or p53). These women can then take steps to reduce their risk of developing breast cancers and to monitor changes in their breasts carefully to find cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage.