Nearly 200,000 cases of breast cancer and are diagnosed every year. All women have some risk of getting these cancers and should have regular medical screening. 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime.
Women with Hereditary Breast Cancer syndrome are at a significantly higher risk for breast cancer, up to 87% lifetime risk, up to 50% risk of breast cancer by age 50 as well as a 64% risk of a second primary breast cancer. Patients diagnosed with hereditary breast cancer syndrome should follow a more aggressive screening plan. Once identified through genetic testing for a mutation of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene, risk may be greatly reduced or nearly eliminated by a comprehensive management plan based on your own inherited risk and personal preferences and choices. Women who are negative for the gene mutation but present a family history of breast cancer are still at an elevated risk and should manage their risk accordingly.
Steps To Reduce Cancer Risk, or Detect Cancer at an Earlier, More Treatable Stage
More Frequent Monitoring for Breast Cancer
- Monthly breast self-exams starting at age 18
- Annual or semiannual clinical breast exams starting at age 25
- Annual mammography starting at age 25
Preventive Drug Therapies for Breast Cancer
- Preventive drug therapies may be implemented along with increased surveillance
- Tamoxifen, a selective estrogen receptor modulator (SERM), has been proven to reduce the risk of breast cancer for women with BRCA mutations by more than half
- Preventive mastectomy has been shown to reduce breast cancer risk by more than 90%
- Preventive salpingo-ophorectomy (removal of ovaries and fallopian tubes) has been shown may also reduce the risk of breast cancer as much as 68%
If you think you may be at risk, you may complete a confidential, highly secure online quiz customized for Women’s Wellness that will send your results of the screen directly to Dr. Rainville. Click here to take the online quiz.
Women’s Wellness Staff will contact you once the results have been evaluated to schedule your consultation visit. Or if you prefer, you may complete a paper version in person. All patients are screened routinely at the office in according with ACOG’s guidelines for cancer prevention for women.