May 19th, 2021
If someone in your family has breast cancer, you will have it too.This is a popular myth and you have likely heard of it as well.In reality, this is not true. A large percentage of women diagnosed with breast cancer don’t have anyone in their family with this disease. So, even if you have your mother, grandmother, or anyone in your close relative with breast cancer, it’s not given that you will have it too.
Although family history is one of the risk factors of breast cancer. It increases the likelihood of you having the disease. There are three broad levels of breast cancer risk: General population risk, moderate risk, and high/increased risk. If you have close relatives – mother, aunt, grandmother – with breast or ovarian cancer, you’re at a higher risk of having it too. If a few people in your family have developed breast cancer under the age of 40 but there’s no definite pattern, you’re at moderate risk. If there’s only one person in your family with breast cancer over the age of 40, you’re at general population risk.
Note that there are several other breast cancer risk factors as well, including reproductive history, sedentary lifestyle, overweight, and more. So,no matter your level of risk, understand that there are other factors that will have a big say.
In short, if you have first-degree or second-degree relatives diagnosed with breast cancer, this doesn’t mean you will have the same fate. The opposite is just as true. Even if you don’t have a family history of breast cancer, it doesn’t mean you’re completely safe.
The key here is getting tested at the right time and the right interval. If you’re past 40, you should get your mammogram done annually; this is especially true if you’re at a higher risk level of having this disease due to different factors. Consult your doctor. If testing is recommended, search “mammography services near me“, find a good clinic, and get your mammogram done.
If the report is negative – great! Do look out for symptoms though and get tested regularly as and when your doctor advises. And if you’re diagnosed with breast cancer, start with the treatment course immediately. At the same time, also attend to your mental health needs. Following such a shocking finding, many women struggle with mental health issues. Google “mental health Charlotte” and get connected with a mental health professional for help.
What Are the Risk Factors for Breast Cancer? CDC
Breast cancer family history risk assessment Breast Cancer Now
Breast and Ovarian Cancer and Family History Risk Categories CDC
Audio Version: Family History of Breast Cancer: Will You Have It Too?