Breast Cancer

Published On 07/11/2011

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Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women and ranks second among cancer deaths in women. One in eight women will develop breast cancer during their life, but with early detection, the cure rate can be as high as 96 percent. Getting an annual mammogram can increase your chances of making a full recovery.

Our physicians use the most advanced techniques for diagnosing and treating breast cancer. Breast brachytherapy allows for minimally invasive, breast conservation therapies to be used during breast cancer treatments.

According to ACS, the breast cancer death rate in the US is falling by about two percent per year, since 1999, but any woman may develop breast cancer. The following risk factors may increase the likelihood of developing the disease.

Some risk factors may include:

  • Gender: Breast cancer occurs nearly 100 times more often in women than in men.
  • Race: It has been noted that Caucasian women develop breast cancer slightly more often than African-American women. However, African-American women tend to die of breast cancer more often. This may be partly due to the fact that African-American women often develop a more aggressive type of tumor, although why this happens is not known. The risk for developing breast cancer and dying from it is lower in Hispanic, Native American, and Asian women.
  • Age - Two out of three women with invasive cancer are diagnosed after age 55.
  • Family history and genetic factors - Previous diagnosis of breast cancer. Having a close relative, such as a mother or sister, with breast cancer increases the risk.
  • Dense breast tissue - Breast tissue may look dense or fatty on a mammogram. Older women with dense breast tissue are at increased risk.
  • Diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure - Women who took this drug while pregnant (to lower the chance of miscarriage) are at higher risk. The possible effect on their daughters is under study.
  • Menstrual periods that began early in life (before age 12)
  • Menopause that began later in life (after age 55)
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Physical inactivity
  • Alcohol

Exposure to pesticides, or other chemicals, is currently being examined as a possible risk factor.

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