By now, many people are aware that having a mutation in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene increases the risk of getting breast cancer. What about other factors that increase risk?
There are a number of things to consider, some of which we have control over and some of which we don’t.
Factors that are in the realm of our control include:
- alcohol intake
- weight control
- some environmental factors
- lifestyle choices
- taking certain drugs (such as post menopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT)
- some reproductive decisions
Factors outside of our control include:
- age of 1st period
- dense breast tissue
- family history of breast cancer
- prior exposure to certain drugs (such as DES)
- having had previous chest radiation (such as for the treatment of Hodgkin Disease or Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma)
- having had “abnormal cells” on a previous breast biopsy
- having an inherited genetic mutation (such as in BRCA or in aother cancer susceptibility gene)
Should you be evaluated further?
Of the many factors that increase breast cancer risk, a few stand out and increase risk enough to warrant a more in-depth evaluation. If you have any of the following you would benefit from Cancer Risk Assessment:
- a family history of breast cancer
- a previous breast biopsy showing “abnormal” cells
- previous chest wall radiation (e.g. – mantle) prior to age 30
- a personal or family history suggestive of an inherited genetic mutation or a previously identified mutation is the family (such as in the BRCA genes or other cancer susceptibility genes)
At Pink Lotus Breast Center, we provide a comprehensive cancer risk assessment program that includes a thorough evaluation of genetic and non-genetic factors that impact cancer risk, provide recommendations for genetic testing, provide increased and enhanced cancer surveillance and management, and offer accurate and up-to-date information about breast cancer risk and risk reduction strategies.
Interested? Intrigued? Concerned?
Feel free to read more about genetics and risk assessment, located under the ‘patient services” tab on the home page of our website, which includes a genetics quiz and information on how to make an appointment.