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BREAST
CANCER 101
THE BEST PROTECTION
IS EARLY DETECTION
What is Breast Cancer?
The term “breast cancer” refers
to a malignant tumor that has
developed from cells in the breast.
Over time, cancer cells can invade
nearby healthy breast tissue and
make it cancerous.
What are some causes?
Breast cancer is always caused
by a genetic abnormality
(a “mistake” in the genetic
material). However, only 5
percent to 10 percent of cancers
are due to an abnormality
inherited from your mother or
father. Instead, 85 percent to 90
percent of breast cancers are due
to genetic abnormalities that
happen as a result of the aging
process and the “wear and tear”
of life in general.
What are some preventive
measures?
There are steps every woman
can take to help the body stay as
healthy as possible, such as eating
a balanced diet, maintaining a
healthy weight, not smoking,
limiting alcohol, and exercising
regularly. While these may have
some impact on your risk of
getting breast cancer, they cannot
eliminate the risk entirely.
Statistics
• About 1 in 12 women (8 percent)
will develop breast cancer at
some stage of life.
• Second leading cause of cancer
related deaths in women
• Incidence increases with age
• Although breast cancer in men
is rare, men can also be affected
with breast cancer
Factors that suggest a
genetic predisposition to
breast cancer
• Early age of onset (before 40
years of age)
• Several members of the family
affected with breast cancer
• Presence of high risk features
such as:
•bilateral breast cancer,
•ovarian cancer
•male breast cancer
For women at an increased
risk, the following are
available to help decrease her
chances of breast cancer:
• Administer Tamoxifen- for
women for women under age 35
years of age.
• Consider prophylactic
mastectomy
• Take steps to embrace
appropriate lifestyle changes
• Limit or stop alcohol
consumption.
Breast Cancer screening
• Screening can help find cancers
in an early stage when they have
a better chance of being cured
• Breast cancer screening can be
done by
•Monthly self examinations
(MSE)
•Clinical Breast Examinations
(CBE)
•Mammograms
• In some cases, breast MRI
Using these methods in a
combined approach is better than
any one test alone
“Supporting the
Fighters, Admiring
the Survivors,
Honoring the Taken,
and Never, Ever,
Giving up Hope”
By: Sonika Sachanandani-Phulwani
(Genetic Counselor)
Eastern Biotech & Life Sciences
28
Oct/Nov 2014