Friday, October 02, 2009
Breast cancer risk factors
Women at high risk include those who:
• Have a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation
• Have a first-degree relative (mother, father, brother, sister, or child) with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, and have not had genetic testing themselves
• Have a lifetime risk of breast cancer of approximately 20%-25% or greater, according to risk assessment tools that are based mainly on family history
• Had radiation therapy to the chest when they were between the ages of 10 and 30 years
• Have Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome, or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome, or have a firstdegree relative with one of these syndromes
Women at moderately increased risk include those who:
• Have a lifetime risk of breast cancer of 15%-20%, according to risk assessment tools that are based mainly on family history
• Have a personal history of breast cancer, ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS), atypical ductal hyperplasia (ADH), or atypical lobular hyperplasia (ALH)
• Have extremely dense breasts or unevenly dense breasts when viewed by mammograms. Although the American Cancer Society no longer recommends that all women perform monthly breast selfexams (BSE), women should be informed about the potential benefits and limitations associated with BSE.
Research has shown that self awareness is more effective for detecting breast cancer than structured BSE. Women who detect their own breast cancer usually find it outside of a structured breast self-exam while bathing or getting dressed. A woman who wishes to perform periodic BSE should receive instruction from her health care provider and/or have her technique reviewed periodically.
Source: American Cancer Society