Learn to identify and assess your risk of getting breast cancer, as well as to learn about advanced treatment options and specialized wellness and support programs for those currently fighting this disease. The information is a guide and should not be used in place of a physical examination by your doctor.
Breast cancer prevention program
The breast cancer prevention program helps women understand and manage their risk for breast cancer. By gaining a more accurate estimate of personal risk, you may increase the chance of early cancer detection through an individualized screening plan. There are many factors to be considered to determine your risk for breast cancer and our medical team and genetic counselors are experienced in evaluating your personal family and medical history. During a high-risk screening appointment, you will learn about possible preventive or risk reduction strategies for you.
High risk for developing breast cancer
You may be at high risk for developing breast cancer if you have:
- Tested positive for a gene mutation that increases risk of breast cancer development
- A family member with breast cancer diagnosed before age 50
- A male family member with breast cancer
- Multiple family members with breast cancer and/or ovarian cancer at any age
- Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry with a family history of breast cancer and/or ovarian cancer and/ or pancreatic cancer
- Atypical cells detected during a breast biopsy
- Prior radiation for childhood cancer
Breast cancer program services
- Breast MRI
- Breast Surgical Procedures
- Breast Ultrasound
- Cyberknife® Radiosurgery (radiation treatment)
- Digital Mammography
- Genetic Counseling
- Lymphedema Treatment Programs
- MammoSite® Therapy (radiation treatment)
- Minimally Invasive/Stereotactic Breast Biopsy
- MRI - Guided Breast Biopsy
- Needle Localizations
- Outpatient Infusion Center (Midwest Cancer Care)
- Surgical Breast Biopsy
- Ultrasound Guided Biopsy
View our No Excuses Get Screened flyer.
Annual mammograms are recommended for women ages 40 and older. At age 35, women should get their baseline screening mammogram. If you have a history of breast cancer or breast cancer risk factors, talk to your doctor about when to start your mammograms. Our hospitals offer a warmer, softer digital mammogram that provides a higher-quality image for earlier detection.
If you have developed breast cancer, Midwest Breast Care can help improve your quality of life and long term survival through advanced treatment and specialized wellness and support programs.
- Interdisciplinary breast conferences where your entire care team meets to discuss your personal needs and treatment options.
- Nurse Navigators will help you through every step of your treatment. From treatment options to post surgical aids and nutritional supplements, the Nurse Navigators are your personal guide and patient liaison.
- Support groups for patients and their caregivers.
- Lymphedema program which includes exercise instruction, lymph manual drainage techniques, bandaging, appropriate garment selection and patient education to help those patients who experience lymphedema.
- Resource library that offers a large selection of educational and support materials for patients and their family.
If you haven’t been already, chances are great that you will be affected by breast cancer at some point during your life — whether it develops within you, or it develops within someone you know or care about. While both men and women can get breast cancer, the risks are alarmingly high for women:
|By age 35||1 in 622|
|By age 45||1 in 93|
|By age 55||1 in 33|
|By age 65||1 in 17|
|Ever||1 in 8|
Source: National Cancer Institute Surveillance Program
While the causes of breast cancer are unknown, researchers have identified a number of factors that increase a woman’s risk of getting breast cancer. These risk factors do not necessarily cause breast cancer, but are associated with an increased chance of getting breast cancer. Importantly, some women have many risks and never develop breast cancer, while some women have few or no risks but do get the disease. It is important to know the risk factors and do what you can to prevent them. Not all risk factors can be prevented. However, for those that can, take the appropriate preventative measures. Self-breast exams and annual mammograms can also help in the fight against breast cancer.
- Family history of breast, ovarian or prostate cancer
- Personal history of breast or ovarian cancer
- Getting older
- Starting menopause after the age of 55
- Having your first period before the age of 12
- Having a previous biopsy showing atypical hyperplasia or cancer
- High bone density
- Ashkenazi Jewish heritage
- Not having children or having your first child after age 35
- Not breastfeeding
- Taking birth control pills for five years or longer
- Being overweight
- Consuming two-to-five alcoholic beverages per day
- Postmenopausal hormone use
- Lack of exercise
- High levels of estrogen in the blood
- Being exposed to large amounts of radiation
The best defense against breast cancer is you.
Women in their 20s should begin monthly self-breast exams. Find information below on performing breast self-exams, or consult your physician.
The chances of beating breast cancer increase when it’s detected early. You can take an active role in early detection and your overall breast health with monthly breast self-examinations. Follow these four steps each and every month for the most effective breast self-exam.
Note: There are three different patterns you can use to feel your breasts, the vertical strip (Figure A), the circle (Figure B) or the wedge method (Figure C). Be sure to use the same method each time you do your breast self exam. It is important to cover the entire breast.