Breast Cancer and Heredity: Learn To Recognize the Risks

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It is important to learn your family's genetics.

It is important to learn your family's genetics.[/caption]Cancer is a word that no patient wants to hear coming from their doctor. Although there are many different types of cancers among women, breast cancer is diagnosed form of cancer just after non-melanoma skin cancer. Breast cancer is also one of the leading cause of cancer-related deaths, placing second after lung cancer. There are several different factors that increase the risk of cancer such as age, reproductive history, alcohol intake and exposure to radiation, there are also factors that relate to family history and the risk for inherited cancer genes.Breast cancer can run within a family's genetics, so the likelihood of the disease being a hereditary factor is increased. It is important to note, however, that only ten percent of breast cancer diagnoses in women have a family history. In other words, even if a relative has ever been diagnosed with breast cancer does not mean that there is a certainty of confirmed diagnosis. Modern screening techniques such as mammographies help women remain proactive in ensuring good breast health.Women that are concerned about cancer risk should speak to a specialist in order to make the best decisions related to prevention and management. These steps include:Creating screening schedules that include 3D mammography and clinical breast examsDouble preventive (prophylactic) mastectomies and follow-up reconstructive breast surgeryGenetic testingHigh-risk evaluation and monitoringHormonal therapy medications that are designed to prevent breast cancer developmentBefore these tests take place, genetic counseling is advised, as the feedback helps to take the best steps during these life changing decisions.For those patients that do have an increased history of breast cancer in their family, tests can be run to determine if they possess the genetic mutation BRCA1 or BRCA2 are performed to provide further information. If the test results are positive, that does not ensure a certainty of developing breast cancer, as these mutations are accountable to only half of families with inherited breast cancer.There are family conditions that are able to provide information on the likelihood of an inherited form of breast cancer:Cancer that has been diagnosed in both breastsCases of breast cancer that have occurred before menopause with multiple generations of the same side of the familyMale family members that have been diagnosed with breast cancerPrevious family history of breast and ovarian cancer in multiple relatives on the same side of the familyThe best breast exam guidelines for patients to follow is this: If patients have had a first-degree family member that has been diagnosed with breast cancer then screenings should begin five years before the age from when the relative developed the disease. Otherwise, patients should start getting checkups at the age of 40.To schedule your own breast cancer screening, Steinberg Diagnostic Medical Imaging offers convenient and accessible care throughout Las Vegas and Henderson. To schedule your next appointment, contact SDMI at (702) 732-6000 or by visiting the SDMI website at - When it comes to compassionate medical care, the choice is "ONLY SDMI".

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