Who has the highest risk of breast cancer?
No woman is immune to breast cancer, but there are many risk factors that can increase the chances that you will be diagnosed with breast cancer in your lifetime. Some risk factors you can control, while others will be unavoidable. However, you can control how much you know about breast cancer and how frequently you check in with your doctor for appropriate screenings, including mammograms. If you fall into any of the following categories, it is especially important to talk to your doctor, because you will be in the highest risk groups for the disease.
Women with an inherited genetic mutation.
If you have a family history of breast cancer, or you know that the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation runs in your family, then it is likely that you have an inherited genetic mutation that can increase your risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Even if you do not have one of these genetic mutations, you might still be more proactive in your preventive care if you have a close relative, such as your mother, sister, or aunt, who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Women over the age of 50.
Most breast cancer cases are diagnosed in women over the age of 50, which is why you will need more frequent breast cancer screenings as you get older.
Women with dense breast tissue.
Women with dense breasts have more connective tissue in the breasts than fatty tissue, which is harder to see through on a mammogram, so tumors may be more easily missed during routine screening. If you do have dense breast tissue, there are other imaging options, such as breast MRI that may be more suitable for you.
Women who have undergone hormone replacement therapy.
Hormone replacement therapy using the hormones estrogen and progesterone can increase the risk of breast cancer. Additionally, certain types of hormonal birth control may raise your risk. Talking to your OBGYN about the risks and benefits of any hormonal drugs is an important step for managing your breast health and getting the care you need.
For exceptional breast cancer care from screening to diagnosis to treatment to support, rely on Riverside Community Hospital’s Cancer Care Center. As a leading cancer treatment center in the Inland Empire, we are here to provide state-of-the-art care with compassionate patient support and education. For a physician referral in Riverside or guidelines for breast cancer screening, contact us today through our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (951) 788-3463.