Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women (apart from skin Cancer). Like most cancers, Detected early, breast cancer can be treated successfully.
- Family history of breast cancer
- First menstrual period before age 12
- Menopause at age 55 or older
- Older age-60 years or over
- Childless or First childbirth after age 35
- Tall height (5’8” or taller)
- Dense breasts
- History of benign breast disease (like atypical hyperplasia)
Be on the alert for any abnormal changes
- a lump or thickening
- a change in the shape or size of a breast
- changes in the skin of a breast, such as puckering,dimpling or a rash
- discharge from a nipple, or a nipple rash
- persistent or unusual breast pain
BRCA gene 1 2 mutation test: Positive test implies 45 to 65 % higher risk compared to 12% in test negative women
– Recommended every 2 years between 50 and 74 years of age
– Clinical assessment to identify the screening frequency in others.
How to prevent Breast Cancer?
1) Get physically active
Start earlier in life
Limit time spent sitting.
Maintain ideal weight, especially post menopause.
2) If possible, breastfeed.
3) birth control pills
4) post-menopausal hormone therapy,
5) Excess exposure to Radiation; medical imaging tests like X-rays if not medically necessary.
8) Chemoprevention: Prescription medicines, For women at high risk: Tamoxifen or Anastrozole or Raloxifene.
ONCE DAILY for 5 or more years can reduce the risk by 50%.
9) Prophylactic Surgery
If BRCA gene testing is positive, Prophylactic mastectomy is a treatment option. Risk reduces by 90%.
Ovarian ablation, by reducing the estrogen levels, also reduces the risk.
10) Though evidence isn’t definitive, Mediterranean diet, which focuses on nuts, fish, fruits, and vegetables might lower the risk.