Dr. Jacqueline Eghrari-Sabet: One out of eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer at some point in their lives. In fact, next to skin cancer, it's the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among US women. But there is good news in the field with early diagnoses and new treatments.
Dr. Rebecca Zuurbier: Women often ask, what can I do to prevent my risks from getting breast cancer? Well, unfortunately most women who get breast cancer don't have any other increased risk factors other than being a woman.
You should know that annual screening mammography has decreased the number of deaths from breast cancer by one third. All women should undergo annual screening mammography beginning at age 40. Additionally, they should undergo clinical breast examinations by their healthcare provider.
Dr. Jacqueline Eghrari-Sabet: Screening is the most effective method of saving lives, and new digital technologies are really exciting tools.
Dr. Rebecca Zuurbier: Breast MRI is an effective way of finding additional areas of disease. There are also exiting areas of research looking at tailoring breast cancer drug regimen; so chemotherapies can be more specific for a patient's tumor.
And even radiation therapy is finding ways to deliver breast radiation doses in a more compact period of time or more focused on the tumor bed itself.
You should talk with your healthcare provider if you think you may be appropriate for additional screening methods such as breast MRI screening or if you should be taking any medicines to help reduce your risk factors also.
So it's important to find breast cancer early, and the best way to do that is through annual mammographic screening and regular physical examinations by the healthcare provider.