What you Need to Know about Breast Cancer Prevention

Women in the United States have a 12.4% chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives. However, they can increase their likelihood of detecting early on-set breast cancer by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, having regular mammograms, and being aware of the risk factors.

Genetics Play a Role

If you have a first-degree relative who has had breast cancer (such as a parent or sibling), you are twice as likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer as well. Women should start having an annual mammogram around their fortieth birthday, but if you are at increased risk, you may want to consider a breast ultrasound even sooner.

General Health Matters, Too

Postmenopausal breast cancer is more common in women who are overweight or obese. The exact causes are unknown, but researchers believe that it has to do with estrogen produced by fat tissue. Women who are overweight should look into density mammography and pay particular attention to any strange lumps. Exercise may reduce this risk as well–studies show that women who are physically active are 20% less likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer than women who are inactive.

Women aren’t the Only Ones Affected

Breast cancer incidence occurs overwhelmingly with women, but a small percentage of men are diagnosed with breast cancer as well. In fact, mortality rates for men with breast cancer are higher than those of women because many men don’t recognize the symptoms or seek treatment. Men who have a family history of breast cancer (particularly a first-degree male relative) or who have been exposed to high levels of estrogen or radiation should have any unusual lumps checked by a medical professional

Mammography is More Effective than Ever

Digital breast omosynthesis, or 3D breast ultrasound screening (ABUS), takes a three dimensional image of the breast, which is then broken down into various “slices” or thin images. This allows radiologists to get a better view of the breast and any potential tumors. It’s often offered in conjunction with a traditional ultrasound to increase the odds of detecting a lump or tumor. Use of 3D breast ultrasound screening (ABUS) increases early detection of breast cancer by up to 30%.

If the results of your most recent breast biopsy seem off, don’t hesitate to seek a second opinion. Radiologists and physicians are there to help you achieve a healthy body and peace of mind.

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