Understanding Breast Cancer – Minimizing the Risk

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 7,950
    Dr. Rebecca Zuurbier, M.D. and Dr. Jacqueline Eghrari – Sabet, MD discuss minimizing the risk of breast cancer.

    Jacqueline Eghrari-Sabet: So, what can a person do to minimize their risk of getting breast cancer. Well, unfortunately, it's a disease that we really don't know how to prevent. In the subset of patients who are at a very high risk of breast cancer meaning those who are genetically predisposed. Those patients may have to consider more drastic treatment such as, a bilateral mastectomy, removal of both breasts. Some patients who are at very high risk may also consider using certain medication to decrease their risk of breast cancer. These medications however may have significant side effects and should be chosen cautiously in conjunction with the discussion with their position. The person who has an average risk, they believe, it's always important to limit alcohol intake, control your weight and exercise. The American Cancer Society has recently help develop guidelines for imaging people who may be at high or intermediate risk of getting breast cancer. There are different ways to evaluate your risk and that's best done in conjunction with your position or specialist, someone called the geneticist, who can help counsel you about your risk and whether a genetic testing is appropriate. But also, not only can you decrease your risk through the medications that they may recommend, but it may also be recommended to have more aggressive screening, which include breast MRI screening. If your risk factor life time for breast cancer is above 20%, the American Cancer Society actually now recommends that you use breast MRI screening in addition to mammography. So, using mammography and breast MRIs is effective way in patients at a very high risk of breast cancer above 20% life time help finding the disease earlier.