According to the American Cancer Society, women who are at higher risk of breast cancer include those who:
- Have a lifetime breast cancer risk of about 20-25 percent or greater, according to risk assessment tools that are based mainly on family history
- Have a known BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation
- Have a first-degree relative (parent, brother, sister or child) with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation and who have not had genetic testing themselves
- Had radiation therapy to the chest when they were between ages 10-30
- Have Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Cowden syndrome or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome or have first-degree relatives with one of these syndromes
By determining whether a woman is at high risk for the disease well before they would typically be screened for the disease, women can take the steps they need to reduce their risk of developing breast cancer and catch it in its early stages when treatment is more effective, according to Dr. Brackett, who offers care at the Murrells Inlet, Myrtle Beach and Georgetown locations of Tidelands Health Breast Center.
His advice to young women: “Understand your risk factors, be educated so you do the appropriate follow-up and take steps to reduce risk.”
If you have any questions, Dr. Brackett says, be sure to speak with your primary care or women’s health provider.