Breast Cancer Risk Screening
Breast cancer is very common in the United States. The estimated lifetime risk of breast cancer in America has been reported as high as 1 in 8 women. This high occurrence of breast cancer has raised the general community awareness of this disease. Through regular physical examination and regular mammograms at the appropriate age, early breast cancer detection is very good and adequate treatments are often initiated in a timely fashion resulting in high breast cancer survival rates. Breast cancer prevention, however, is a service that is not as widely spread.
Researchers have developed systems which can score individual women’s risk of breast cancer based on a variety of details including items such as family history, history of breastfeeding, and pregnancy history. There are many other data points which are used to calculate individual risk of breast cancer. The test may occasionally be limited by ethnic diversity.
There are options which have been proven to reduce the risk of breast cancer. Medical treatment with tamoxifen, for example, has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
In order to determine who can benefit from breast cancer prevention therapy, specific screening for breast cancer must take place followed by individual counseling. Women who are identified as having a very high risk may also benefit from surgery designed to prevent breast cancer by removing breast tissue or removal of the ovaries. Women who are undergoing other gynecologic surgery procedures should first consider their lifetime breast cancer risk to determine if they would benefit from removal of both ovaries. Certain women may benefit from genetic testing to exclude the possibility of a genetic mutation which is associated with high rates of breast cancer. Other women may benefit from more intensive breast cancer screening programs for early detection.
Our office offers breast cancer screening to estimate breast cancer risk and counsel women regarding their options. Please do not hesitate to contact our office to inquire about this service.