BREAST CANCER RISK FACTORS
You are at risk for breast cancer if you are a woman and growing older. Here are some things that increase risk, but Jan had none of these risk factors when she was diagnosed. Know your risk, but don't miss your regular screenings.
1) Direct family history. Having a mother, sister, or daughter who has or has had breast cancer.
2) Genetics. Carriers of alterations in either of two familial breast cancer genes called BRCA1 or BRCA2.
3) Breast lesions. A previous breast biopsy of atypical hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ.
4) Age at childbirth. Having your first child after the age of 35 or never having children.
5) Early menstruation or late menopause. Starting your period before age 12 or beginning menopause after age 55.
6) Weight. Being obese or having high fat intake especially following menopause.
7) Other cancer in the family. A family history of cancer in the ovaries, uterus, cervix or colon.
8) Heritage. Female descendants of Eastern or Central European Jews (Ashkenazi).
9) Alcohol. Compared with non-drinkers, those who have 2 to 5 drinks daily have about 1.5 times the risk of women who do not drink.
10) Hormone Replacement Therapy. Long-term use of combined estrogen and progesterone.
Excerpt from Have Breast Cancer, Will Travel ~
"As recommended by my family doctor, I had a mammogram when I turned 40. Like so many women, all was in order; and with no family history of breast cancer, I neglected my annual screening for 4 years. When I showed up in Dr. Shah’s La Jolla office in November 2009 as a new patient, she wouldn’t take “no” for an answer and insisted I get screened right away. So I had my second mammogram. I never imagined that the timing of that screening probably saved my life." Jan Allen
GET SCREENED! Earlier than later!
Early Detection is KEY! In 2015, the 5 year relative survival rate for women with early stage breast cancer is 99%!