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What You Need To Know About Your Breast Cancer Risk

If you’re a woman, it’s likely that you already are aware that someday developing breast cancer is a risk in your life. For many people, however, the exact knowledge of this risk is not exactly clear. Fortunately, there are some ways that your overall risk for developing breast cancer can be much more sufficiently and thoroughly assessed, and it is important to keep these thing in mind in regards to your own breasts.

For instance, family history matters quite a lot when it comes to your chances of ever developing breast cancer. Women who have a first-degree (that is to say a parent, sibling, or child) female relative affected by breast cancer are twice as likely to develop breast cancer themselves, compared to women who do not have a family history of breast cancer. It is highly recommended that women at risk of developing breast cancer, starting around age 40-44, receive an annual mammography. Receiving a mammogram can later lead to a breast biopsy if abnormalities are detected.

According to Mammography Saves Lives/a>, a mammogram is “a non-invasive X-ray used to check breasts for breast cancer and other abnormalities. It is the only test shown to reduce breast cancer deaths.” These are typically lower-energy X-rays compared to those used for an ultrasound. To see if a breast biopsy is necessary, mammography is looking for abnormal breast density, masses, or microcalcifications in the breast.

It is extremely important to receive mammography annually once you hit the at-risk age for breast cancer. Studies have shown that mammography can reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer by 20% to 40%. Mammography helps because it can detect abnormal breast density early.

In conclusion, it is important for all women at risk of breast cancer to receive annual mammography once they reach an at risk age to develop breast cancer. A mammogram uses non-invasive X-rays to check the breasts for breast cancer. If a mammogram detects abnormal breast density, those results could lead to a breast biopsy to test tissue samples to see if breast cancer is present. Given how deadly breast cancer is, receiving annual mammography is one of the best things you can do.

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