Breast Cancer Screening Guidelines
The United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women ages 50 to 74 should get a mammogram every two years. The task force also recommends that women under 50 with an increased risk of breast cancer should speak with their doctor about when to start Hong Kong breast cancer screening and how often to get screened.
What is breast cancer?
Breast cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the cells of the breasts. You will feel a painless lump or thickening in your breast. The swelling may be hard or soft. You can have breast cancer in one or both breasts. Once diagnosed, working with support organizations like Hong Kong Cancer Fund is advisable to receive the best possible care.
What is a mammogram?
A mammogram is an X-ray of the breast. A screening mammogram is used to look for breast cancer in women with no signs or symptoms of the disease. A diagnostic mammogram is used to find the cause of a breast problem that has already been found, such as a lump, pain, skin changes, or nipple discharge.
How often should you get a mammogram?
The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that women ages 40 and over have a Hong Kong breast cancer screening every year and continue to do so for as long as they are in good health. The ACS also recommends that women ages 45 to 54 should get a mammogram yearly.
What are the risks of mammograms?
There is a minimal chance (less than 1%) that you could develop cancer from having a mammogram. The X-rays used for mammograms are low doses and have proved safe.
What if a mammogram shows something abnormal?
If your mammogram shows an abnormality, you will need more tests. These tests can help find out if you have breast cancer.
- Biopsy: The removal of cells or tissue from the body for examination under a microscope.
- Ultrasound: A test that uses sound waves to create a picture of the inside of the body.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): A test that uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to create a picture of the inside of the body.
What are the signs and symptoms of breast cancer?
The most common symptom of breast cancer is a new lump or mass in the breast. A mass is a lump usually painless, although some women may experience tenderness.
Other symptoms of breast cancer include:
- A change in the size or shape of the breast: The breast may become larger or smaller, or the shape may change.
- A change in the appearance of the nipple: The nipple may become inverted (turned inward), or there may be a discharge from the nipple.
- Dimpling of the skin over the breast: The skin may look like an orange peel.
- A change in the texture of the breast: The breast may feel like it has thickened, or there may be a feeling of heaviness in the breast.
- Pain in the breast: Breast cancer is usually painless, but some women may experience a dull ache in the breast.
How is breast cancer treated?
The treatment for breast cancer will depend on the disease’s stage, the tumor’s size, and your overall health.
- Surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment for breast cancer. The type of surgery will depend on the stage of the disease.
- Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells. It may be used before or after surgery.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. It may be used before or after surgery.
- Hormone therapy: Hormone therapy is a treatment that slows or stops the growth of breast cancer cells that are sensitive to hormones.
What can you do to reduce your risk of breast cancer?
You can do some things to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing breast cancer.
- Exercise: Getting regular exercise can help to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
- Limit alcohol consumption: Drinking alcohol increases your risk of developing breast cancer.
- Avoid smoking: Smoking increases your risk of developing breast cancer.
- Breastfeed: Breastfeeding can help to reduce your risk of developing breast cancer.
- Limit your exposure to estrogen: Taking birth control pills, or hormone replacement therapy can increase your risk of developing breast cancer.
Some factors can increase a woman’s risk of breast cancer, including:
1)A family history of breast cancer
Your family history is one of the essential factors in determining your risk of breast cancer. If you have a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer, your risk is doubled. Having multiple family members with breast cancer further increases your risk.
2)A personal history of breast cancer
If you have previously been diagnosed with breast cancer, you have an increased risk of developing second primary breast cancer.
3) Breast density
Women with dense breasts (more glandular and fibrous tissue than fatty tissue) have a higher risk of breast cancer. It is because it is harder to detect cancers on a mammogram in women with dense breasts.
4)Certain genetic mutations
Women who have inherited a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation have an increased risk of breast cancer. These mutations are relatively rare, accounting for about 5 to 10 percent of all breast cancers.
5) Radiation exposure
Women exposed to radiation, such as from radiation therapy for another cancer, have an increased risk of breast cancer.
6)Hormone replacement therapy
Women who use hormone replacement therapy (HRT) have an increased risk of breast cancer. HRT treats menopausal symptoms and usually involves a combination of estrogen and progesterone.
Drinking alcohol increases the risk of breast cancer. The trouble is higher with increasing amounts of alcohol consumed.
Being obese or overweight increases the risk of breast cancer, particularly after menopause.
Breast cancer is a severe disease that can significantly impact a woman’s health. However, several treatment options are available, and the survival rates for breast cancer are generally reasonable. There are also things that women can do to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer.