Can I Get Breast Cancer if it Doesn’t Run in My Family?

While breast cancer can be hereditary, 75% of women who get breast cancer have no family history of the disease. You can get breast cancer even if it does not run in your family, so it’s very important to have an annual exam and mammogram to detect breast cancer early and receive treatment. Mammograms save lives.

What Causes Breast Cancer?

Doctors do not often know exactly what causes one woman to get breast cancer and another woman escape it. But there are risk factors that can influence your likelihood of getting breast cancer. 

  • Age: Women of all ages get breast cancer, but the risk does increase with age. According to the Susan G. Komen foundation, the average age at diagnosis is 62.
  • Genetics: A small number of women inherit the BRCA gene, making them predisposed to cancer.
  • Obesity/Inactivity: Women who are overweight or lead more sedentary lifestyles are at higher risk for breast cancer.
  • Alcohol consumption: Even having a couple of drinks per day can increase your risk of breast cancer by more than 20%.
  • Other cancer: If you’ve had another kind of cancer or even another disorder involving your breasts, you could be at higher risk for breast cancer
  • Environmental: Being exposed to carcinogens, whether by smoking cigarettes or environment carcinogens, can increase your risk.

Can I Prevent Breast Cancer?

While you cannot completely prevent the risk of getting breast cancer, there are certain ways to reduce your risk. 

  • Diet and Exercise: Eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise reduces your risk for most diseases, including breast cancer. Reducing your consumption of fat and alcohol can also improve your risk factor.
  • Hormone Replacement: Whether you enter menopause naturally or have a total hysterectomy, avoiding long-term hormone replacement therapy can help reduce the risk of breast cancer.
  • Don’t Smoke: Smoking cigarettes increases your risk of cancer by introducing carcinogens into your body. 

Regular Breast Exams and Mammograms 

Monthly self-exams and annual breast exams and mammograms are essential for preventing, detecting, and catching breast cancer early. Our state-of-the-art facility offers the newest in 3D mammography in a spa-like setting so that our patients are fully relaxed and comfortable during testing. No appointment is needed at PURE. Stop by today or give us a call at 631-652-3424 to learn more about our top-notch mammography center.

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