GREEN BAY, Wis. — During Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Prevea Health, HSHS St. Vincent, St. Mary’s, St. Nicholas and St. Clare Memorial hospitals remind everyone about the importance of breast health and breast screenings.
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc., one in eight women in the U.S. will develop breast cancer in her lifetime; and this year, an estimated 42,170 women will die from this disease.
“Early detection saves lives, so please get your mammograms,” said Dr. Colette Salm-Schmid, breast surgeon at Prevea Health. “You can be assured that amidst this pandemic we are all facing, that we have taken every step possible to ensure your health and safety while in our care, and we are here and ready to care for your breast health. Make October the month you remember your mammogram.”
All women should talk with their health care provider about the appropriate timing for screening mammograms, especially women who are age 40 or at high-risk. A mammogram schedule will be based upon an individual’s health. At age 40, any woman may wish to begin regular screening mammograms. By age 45, women should have a screening mammogram and continue to have one at least every other year.
There are many factors that can contribute to the cause of breast cancer in women and men:
■ Increasing age: The risk of breast cancer increases with age.
■ Inherited breast cancer: Doctors estimate about five to 10 percent of breast cancers are linked to gene mutations passed through generations of a family.
■ Dense breasts: People who have a high percentage of breast tissue that appears dense on a mammogram have a higher risk of breast cancer than people of similar age who have little or no dense breast tissue.
■ Personal history of breast cancer: People who have had breast cancer are more likely to develop a second breast cancer.
■ Radiation therapy: People who had radiation therapy to the chest before age 30 have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
■ Alcohol: Studies indicate the more alcohol a person drinks, the greater their risk of breast cancer.
■ Having never been pregnant: People who have never been pregnant have a greater risk of breast cancer than do people who have had one or more pregnancies.
■ Reproductive and menstrual history: People who had their first menstrual period before age 12 or who went through menopause after age 55 have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. People who had their first full-term pregnancy after age 30 or who have never had a full-term pregnancy are also at increased risk of breast cancer.
■ Long-term use of menopausal hormone therapy: People who used combined estrogen and progestin menopausal hormone therapy for more than five years have an increased chance of developing breast cancer.
■ DES (diethylstilbestrol): The drug DES was given to some pregnant people in the United States between 1940 and 1971 to prevent miscarriage. People who took DES during pregnancy have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer. People who were exposed to DES in utero, those whose mothers took DES while they were pregnancy, may have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer after age 40.
■ Body weight: The chance of getting breast cancer is higher in people who are overweight or obese than in people of a healthy weight.
■ Physical activity level: People who are physically inactive throughout life may have an increased risk of breast cancer.
■ Race: In the United States, breast cancer is diagnosed more often in white people than in African American/Black, Hispanic/Latina, Asian/Pacific Islander, or American Indian/Alaska Native people.
For more information about these risk factors, people may visit: www.prevea.com/For-Patients/Your-Wellness/Resources/factors-that-influence-the-chances-of-getting-brea.