Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in American women (lung cancer is first). Women in the United States get breast cancer more than any other type of cancer except skin cancer. Breast cancer occurs in men also, but the number of cases is small. Be sure to call your health provider if you notice any changes in how your breast or nipple looks or feels, including lumps, discharge, and changes in your breast’s skin, size, or shape.
The American Cancer Society recommends that some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors – be screened with MRI in addition to mammograms. Talk with your doctor about your history and whether you should have additional tests at an earlier age.
Anything that increases your chance of getting a disease is called a risk factor, but having one doesn’t mean you will get cancer. Not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer, either. People who think they may be at risk should discuss this with their doctor. Our center offers evaluations and monitoring for those at higher risk of developing breast cancer. The National Cancer Institute includes these risk factors for breast cancer:
Anything that impacts your general health also impacts your breast health. Reduce your cancer risk by practicing these common guidelines for overall physical condition. In fact, many of these tips are practical for other conditions you might have or risk developing, such as diabetes:
Sources: American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute, physicians at Mary Jo Cropper Family Center for Breast Care at Bethesda North Hospital.