About one to eight U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. In 2019, an estimated 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S., along with 62,930 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer. Women under 50 have improved prognosis in the past 30 years possibly due to advances in treatment, earlier detection, and increased awareness.
Only skin cancer is more commonly diagnosed over breast cancer. For women with a first-degree relative with breast cancer history, the risk is almost double. Around 5-10 percent of breast cancers are linked to the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. The lifetime risk for breast cancer is around 70 percent for women with one of these gene mutations and occurs in younger women.
Guidelines have been created to help advise patients. These guidelines are for women who are at average risk for breast cancer. Average risk is considered for those who don’t have a personal history or a strong family history of breast cancer. Average risk guidelines also would not apply to women with a gene mutation or a history of chest radiation therapy before the age of 30. Although not discussed here, other guidelines are available for higher risk women.
Average Risk Guidelines:
Yearly screening mammogram is optional for women between 40 and 45
Yearly screening mammogram is recommended for women between 45 and 54
Every other year screening mammogram is recommended for women 55 and older
Screening mammogram should continue while women are in good health and expected to live another 10 years or longer.
Self-breast exams and clinical breast exams by a health professional do not take the place of screening mammograms. There is no defined benefit of regular physical breast exams, however, if any physical finding is found such as a breast lump, please seek out immediate medical attention by your primary care physician.
Although the standard of care is the screening mammogram, other tests include breast ultrasound, MRI, Molecular Breast imaging (MBI), Positron emission Mammography (PEM), electrical impedance imaging (EIT), and breast tomosynthesis or 3D mammography.
Please consult your physician regarding breast cancer screening guidelines, how they apply to your personalized health, and the application of newer testing options.
Hansa Medical Groupe has offices at 5250 Old Orchard Road, Suite 300, in Skokie, and in Chicago, 847-920-0902, hansamedicalgroupe.com.