Breast Cancer Prevention

Breast Cancer Prevention

Breast Cancer Prevention
Whether you have family history of breast cancer or not, you can take steps to prevent this common cancer in women. Some risk factors are lifestyle-related, while others are tied to genetics. Exercising and eating healthy are a start, as well as quitting smoking and limiting alcohol. Your primary care provider can help assess your breast cancer risk; regular breast screenings and exams can catch cancer early. Women with increased risk for breast cancer, who carry BRCA genes for example, can consider risk-reducing surgery with their doctor. Learn more about preventing breast cancer and how to identify signs of cancer with our expert advice.

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    The risks of risk-reducing breast surgery to prevent breast cancer are primarily short term and are related to the surgical recovery. These include wound infections, tissue ischemia, and bleeding. These are infrequent complications, occurring in less than 2% to 3% of patients undergoing surgery. Long-term risks would include cosmetic issues related to the reconstruction, the risk of developing breast cancer (less than 5% to 10%), and pain from the procedure (usually very limited and short term). Loss of sensation is one concern, but it diminishes over time. One option that may offer fewer sensory issues is a nipple-sparing mastectomy. Infection issues requiring the removal of an implant occur in less than 1% of cases. The risk of infection is equally low for either a tissue expander or immediate implant. This risk is 2% to 3%, but most are treated successfully without requiring the removal of the implant if that is the form of reconstruction selected.
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    A preventive mastectomy, also called a prophylactic mastectomy, is a surgery designed to remove one or both breasts in order to dramatically reduce the risk of developing breast cancer. If you test positive for certain genetic mutations or you have a strong family history of breast cancer, this may be an option you consider. You may also elect to have your ovaries removed at the same time.

    For preventive purposes, you should have a mammogram performed within 90 days of the procedure to ensure that the breast tissue being removed is healthy. This is a complicated decision and requires the guidance of breast cancer specialists who can explain all the potential risks and complications of taking this extraordinary step.

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    A Surgical Oncology, answered on behalf of
    Though there are no proven methods for breast cancer prevention, early detection as a result of regular self and clinical breast examinations and mammography will give a patient the best chance of cure. Women over the age of 40 are advised to seek a clinical breast exam and mammography yearly. In spite of recent revised recommendations from the American Cancer Society in 2015, breast cancer specialists and most professional organizations continue to recommend yearly mammograms for all women beginning at age 40. Breast cancer incidence increases substantially around age 40.  The ACS report and the USPSTF support data agree that mammography significantly reduces breast cancer deaths and that the most lives are saved when women begin annual mammography screening at age 40.  A healthy lifestyle may also reduce your risk of breast cancer, including regular exercise, healthy diet, and avoiding weight gain particularly in postmenopausal women.
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    A Diagnostic Radiology, answered on behalf of
    3-D mammograms, also known as Breast Tomosynthesis, can be performed on all patients. It however has the most benefit in the women with the denser types of breast tissue. Breast Density with Category C and D are the heterogeneously dense and extremely dense breast tissues respectively and would be expected to benefit most from 3-D mammograms.
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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    To lower your risk of breast cancer recurrence, it's important to manage your body weight by controlling total calorie intake. For most people, this will mean consuming fewer calories by making informed food and beverage choices. Some strategies include:
    • Becoming familiar with standard serving sizes and reading food labels to become more aware of actual servings consumed
    • Distributing calories evenly throughout the day by not skipping meals, especially breakfast
    • Reducing weight at a rate of no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week
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    Ductal lavage stratifies risk among patients at high-risk for developing breast cancer. At present, tumors that begin in the milk duct are not typically discovered until they can be seen on a mammogram or sonogram. With ductal lavage, fluid is painlessly withdrawn from the milk ducts and examined by pathologists for abnormal or suspicious cells. Depending on the results of this analysis, a patient might be put on a high-risk monitoring program.

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    A , Family Medicine, answered
    Pomegranates offer active and significant protection against breast cancer. They contain significant anti-aromatase activity because they are a rich source of ellagitannins. That means they prevent estrogen and testosterone from rising too high in the body and block the stimulation of breast tissues with these hormones. An increasing body of evidence has underscored the cancer preventive efficacy of pomegranate in animal models and human studies.
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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of
    Do the following to limit intake of red meat and avoid processed meat -- you will reduce your breast cancer recurrence risk and gain other health benefits in your diet:
    • Vary your protein food choices by adding legumes, such as beans, lentils and chickpeas, which are a great source of fiber and naturally low in fat.
    • Include lean meats such as chicken breast, turkey and fish. A sensible serving portion is 3 to 4 ounces, which is about the size of a deck of cards.
    • Limit consumption of red meats.
    • Good choices of fish are Alaskan salmon, herring, sardines, black cod (sablefish) and tuna. These are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the immune system and heart.
    • Eat processed meats sparingly since they contain nitrates, which contribute to carcinogens. Nitrates or nitrites are used in smoked, salted or pickled foods.
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    Breast self-examinations are not as encouraged as they used to be because there is a discrepancy among guidelines regarding breast self-examinations. The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends against women performing regular breast self-exams because research has shown them to cause more harm than good. Finding a lump may lead to mammograms, biopsies and surgery. However, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends the self-check. You should discuss the risks and benefits with your family physician, who can teach you how to perform a breast exam.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered
    If there is a family history or other risk factors for breast cancer, women should screen in their 40s, but should discuss their risk with their health care practitioner and might consider prevention options such as chemoprevention, surgical prophylaxis and/or lifestyle changes.


    This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com