Breast Cancer - Stupid Simple

I want you to have accurate information on breast cancer, it is ‘stupid simple’!

According to a large-scale clinical research study reported in the Journal of the AMA,  3-D mammograms detect 41% more invasive cancer than did two-dimensional mammography. As with anything, there are those who say more testing with mammography to screen for breast cancer isn’t worth the increase in stress. However, the stress, if you think about a patient’s radiation, chemo, and or surgery because something early is missed, definitely is food for thought. 3-D mammogram rate of false-positive is far lower than from a digital mammogram.

Family history of Breast cancer is seen in 20% of cases (use to be 10%). For women who have a first-degree relative (a parent, sibling, or child) who has had or has breast cancer,  chances are double the 1 in 8 cases found in all US women. If you have two first-degree family members with breast cancer, sadly your risk increases much more. This translates to the average risk for a woman to develop breast cancer in her life is about 13%. Only skin cancer is more common in women. All women have BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes, but only some women have mutations in those genes. About 1 in every 500 women in the US has a mutation in either her BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene. Gene mutations in the BRCA position can increase the chance of breast cancer.

Men can also carry the BRCA gene. A few words about BRCA-1 and BRCA-2 are gene mutations. In men with the BRCA-1 gene a higher chance of developing breast cancer, prostate cancer and melanoma occurs. Men carrying the BRCA-2 mutation have been found to have an increased association with lymphoma, melanoma, and cancer in the pancreas gall bladder, and stomach.

Breast cancer is not only a disease of older women. Since 1970, the incidence in ages 25-39 has increased 2% every year. Cancer diagnosed in young women tend to be more aggressive, dangerous than when found in older women.

Mammographies had been recommended for women over the age of 50 because mammographies are not accurate in finding small tumors in young dense breast tissue. A baseline mammogram is covered by insurance and the standard at present is between35 and 39 years old. Once you’re 40, even Medicare pays for a screening mammogram every year. Thankfully present technology reduces radiation exposure, with 3D mammography making it harder for small cancer to hide.

Cure rates are good especially when the diagnosis is early, so please follow medical directions regarding getting imaging studies of both male and female breasts.