HCA Midwest Health - December 15, 2017

I think I might be high risk for breast cancer. I've seen on the news that some celebrities have removed their breasts to avoid cancer. Is that really the best option?

You’re right to be concerned about breast cancer. Your awareness is the single best defense against this disease. Early detection is vital. But breast removal before any real risk has been found may not be necessary. Your best plan of action is to make sure you have mammogram screenings regularly. If you have a personal or family risk for breast cancer, talk with your doctor now about when screening is right for you.

The American Cancer Society strongly recommends:

  • An annual breast-cancer screening for women 40-44
  • An annual mammogram for women 45-54
  • A mammogram every two years, or a yearly breast-cancer screening for women 55 and older

The Sarah Cannon Cancer Institute at HCA Midwest Health is doing their part to help women like you prevent breast cancer. They have a program called Be Aware: Breast Education and Prevention. It’s offered to women who are seen for a mammogram. This program offers a complete breast-cancer risk assessment coordinated by board-certified genetic counselors. This is a deep dive into your individual risk numbers by the experts. If you’re found to be at higher-than-usual risk of breast cancer, you may be offered genetic testing, additional breast screening or even the latest preventative steps to block early tumor development. The goal of the whole program is to make sure you have a full understanding of your personal risk and your options for controlling that risk. You may find that your risk of breast cancer is actually far lower than you think.

To help determine your risk, you can take a free online breast cancer risk assessment. For help finding a Breast Care Specialist that meets your needs you can call (816) 751-3775 or use our doctor directory.