Estimating Breast Cancer Risk - Experience

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1. Who develops breast cancer?

Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed non-skin cancer in American women. An estimated 213,000 American women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. The risk of breast cancer increases as women get older. Over the years, researchers have identified certain characteristics, usually called risk factors, which influence a woman's chance of getting the disease. Still, many women who develop breast cancer have no known risk factors other than growing older, and many women with known risk factors do not develop breast cancer.

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Comment from: EMEL, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 06

Mammography failed to reveal my carcinoma. It was found by my GP. I was diagnosed with stage 1 left invasive ductal cell carcinoma at age 63. No lymphatic involvement. Tx. partial left mastectomy followed by Tamoxifen. One year later in situ cells discovered in right breast. This was revealed by mammography. No lymphatic involvement. History - I had a glass ( 4 to 6 oz.) of red wine with dinner. I had been a light smoker for six years about 25 years before diagnosis. There is no history of breast cancer in my mother or either maternal or paternal grandmother. Probably my weight was about 15 - 20 pounds over what it should have been. My activity/exercise levels were moderate, not sedentary but not regular working out either. Menses at age 12. Stress levels were extremely high before diagnosis due to sudden death of husband, sister, father, and aunt along with caring for dementia patient mother. Tx.- Bil. mastectomy with TRAM flap recons. I am on Exemestane with side effects mild other than joint stiffness and pain.

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