Breast Cancer Risk Factors
Know Your Breast Cancer Risk
Some women believe that if breast cancer doesn’t run in their family, they are safe. But fewer than 10 percent of breast cancer cases have a genetic link. There are many other factors that may increase your risk of breast cancer.
At the Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Clinic at Adena, we create customized plans that tell you your risk and outline a care plan to help you be your healthiest. If you are at high risk, you may need mammograms earlier or more frequently or you may need a different type of test, such as a breast MRI.
There are at least 25 risk factors beyond a genetic link—including just being a woman—that increase the risk of getting breast cancer. Some of these include:
- Family History: Even without a genetic link, women who have a family history of cancer are at increased risk. One immediate family member with breast cancer doubles a woman’s risk.
- Age: A woman’s chance of getting breast cancer nearly doubles between ages 50 and 75.
- Dense Breasts: It is thought that women with dense breasts (as identified on a mammogram) are four to five times more likely to get breast cancer.
- Children: Having a first child after age 35 increases a woman’s risk, while having children younger and breastfeeding reduces a woman’s risk.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy: Use of artificial estrogen and progesterone after menopause increases a woman’s risk, but this risk can be minimized by using low doses for shorter periods.
As you consider your personal risk, you can start by taking the National Cancer Institute’s Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool. Many experts say that this tool is only the beginning. Every woman should have a thorough discussion with her doctor about her personal health history and risk of breast cancer.
Adena Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Clinic
If you would like to learn more about your risk of breast cancer or you have breast cancer, the Adena Breast Cancer Risk Reduction Clinic can help. We provide all women:
- Individualized plan of care based on your risk factors and family history
- Care that follows guidelines established by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network
- Digital mammography available at five convenient Adena facilities
- Detailed imaging without radiation through Breast MRI
- Early intervention to improve outcomes for a suspected cancer
- Timely monitoring to help alleviate a woman’s anxiety
- Quick and organized access to care
- Close monitoring of lumps or changes in the breast
- Ongoing communication with your healthcare provider
- Access to a nurse navigator to assist you through your care plan
A PERSONALIZED PLAN OF CARE
If you are assessed as having a higher-than-average risk of developing breast cancer, we will work with your physician to develop a personalized comprehensive plan of care. This focused care plan may include:
- Lifestyle changes: Weight reduction, regular exercise, limited alcohol and tobacco intake, among other things
- Increased surveillance: More frequent mammograms and, in some situations, breast MRI
- Chemoprevention: A drug such as Tamoxifen or Evista may be used to help reduce the risk of breast cancer
- BRCA genetic testing : This option helps determine if you have an inherited susceptibility to breast cancer
- Referral to a surgeon: For further evaluation if needed
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