After skin cancers, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women. Learning your personal risk for developing breast cancer helps you make the right decisions and seek the appropriate treatment to protect yourself from the disease.The average woman has a 13% chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime, but are you the average? A breast cancer risk assessment lets you know your personal risk for the disease. Click To Tweet
How common is breast cancer?
One out of eight women develop breast cancer. Being a woman and getting older are the two biggest risk factors for developing breast cancer. Nearly all cases of breast cancer (99%) occur in women.
The American Cancer Society estimates that 276,480 American women will be diagnosed with new cases of invasive breast cancer in 2020. There will be 48,530 new cases of carcinoma in situ (earliest form of breast cancer), and 42,170 women will die because of breast cancer.
Breast cancer incidence has increased in recent years. However, breast cancer death rates have not followed that trend. Since 2007, breast cancer death rates for women under 50 have remained relatively unchanged; rates for women older than 50 have decreased. Improved treatment, better awareness, and an increase in the number of women seeking breast cancer screening have contributed to these results.
Know your personal risk
The average risk for breast cancer does not necessarily reflect your personal risk for the disease. There’s a difference between relative risk for breast cancer and absolute risk—or personal risk—for breast cancer.
A personal risk assessment tells you how likely it is for you to develop breast cancer. Knowing your personal risk is important. It helps you and your healthcare provider establish a screening plan that provides the appropriate level of care for your risk.
Mammography is the most effective screening tool for breast cancer. Women at an average risk for breast cancer should receive annual screening mammograms every year starting at 40 years of age.
Other factors determine the screening options that are right for you. For example, women with dense breast tissue may need breast ultrasound in addition to annual mammography. If you are at a higher risk for breast cancer, your doctor may recommend that you start screening for breast cancer before 40.
Get started with this quick Breast Cancer Risk Quiz. Meet with the breast health specialists at The Breast Center for a breast cancer risk assessment. The American College of Radiology and Society of Breast Imaging recommend that women receive a breast cancer risk assessment by the age of 30.