- Guide to Breast Cancer
- Take the Breast Cancer Quiz
- Young Women & Breast Cancer
- Patient Comments: Breast Cancer Prevention - Mammograms
- Patient Comments: Breast Cancer Prevention - Genetic Tests
- Patient Comments: Breast Cancer Prevention - Foods
- Introduction to breast cancer prevention
- What are the biological causes of breast cancer?
- What are the risk factors for developing breast cancer?
- What is the importance of early breast cancer detection?
- What are the advantages and limitations of mammography?
- How frequently should women undergo mammography and breast examinations?
- What is the risk of radiation with repeated mammography screening over the years?
- How helpful are BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic tests in identifying women at risk?
- What is the link between estrogen and breast cancer?
- What are breast cancer prevention treatments?
- Are there other breast cancer prevention measures?
- Breast Cancer Prevention Tips
There are two important aspects in breast cancer prevention: early detection and risk reduction. Screening may identify early noninvasive cancers and allow treatment before they become invasive or identify invasive cancers at an early treatable stage. But screening does not, per se, prevent cancer. Breast cancer prevention really must be understood as risk reduction. In extremely high-risk patients, such as those who have BRCA mutations, risk reduction may involve prophylactic surgical removal of the breasts and ovaries. For the average patient, lifestyle modifications (diet, exercise, weight loss) may be easily recommended and have many other benefits. For patients who have an increased risk based on other factors, the use of hormone-blocking agents, in addition to the usual lifestyle recommendations, may also be considered.
Breast Cancer Prevention Tips
- There is no absolute or definitive way to prevent breast cancer.
- Routine screening and early detection remain the most effective ways to reduce breast cancer deaths. But screening does not prevent breast cancer from occurring.
- Medications are an option for decreasing the likelihood of breast cancer in some women at high risk for developing breast cancer. There is no evidence to suggest that these medications should be used in women withat average risk.
- Reduction of risk factors can help reduce the risk of developing breast cancer:
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Consume alcohol only in moderation.
- Get regular exercise.
American Cancer Society. "Breast Cancer." <http://www.cancer.org/cancer/breastcancer/>.
"Breast Cancer." National Cancer Institute.
"Survival Rates for Breast Cancer." American Cancer Society.
Gabriel, E. M. and Ismail Jatoi. "Breast Cancer Chemoprevention." Expert Review of Anticancer Therapy. 12:2 (2012):223-228.
Stopeck, Alison T., et al. "Breast Cancer." Medscape. 24 Sept. 2013.