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Breast Cancer Screening - What makes me high risk and how often should I get screened?

Breast cancer is a complex and multifactorial disease that affects millions of women worldwide. While the majority of breast cancer cases occur sporadically, certain individuals have a higher risk of developing the disease due to various factors. Identifying these high-risk factors is crucial for early detection, prevention, and personalized care. In this blog post, we will delve into the different factors that classify individuals as high risk for breast cancer.


Family History and Genetic Factors:

Having a 1st degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) with breast cancer significantly increases the risk, two to three times higher than average. Having 2 cases of breast cancer in close female relatives (mother, sister, daughter, aunt, grandmother, or great-aunt) on the same side of the family, both diagnosed before age 50 or 3 or more cases of breast cancer in close female relatives on the same side of the family, with at least one diagnosed before age 50. Would also put you in a high than average risk group.


Breast cancer screening guidelines - it is recommended that females 40-74yrs of age get screened every year. Screening may even start at younger ages in which there is a very strong family history and you should book an appointment with a CanScreenBC physician to discuss further.


Specific Gene Mutations

There are also specific genetic mutations, such as BRCA1, BRCA2 and BARD1 which can significantly increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancers.


Breast cancer screening guidelines - it is recommended that female's aged 40-74yrs of age get screened every year. For known BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene carriers screening is recommended to start at 30.


Thoracic Radiation between the age of 10-30 years

This is specifically for childhood cancer survivors who may have been exposed to radiation at an early age.


Breast cancer screening guidelines - it is recommended that screening occurs every year from the age of 30. You might also benefit from referral to the BC Cancer Agency LEAF program. This is a specific program for the Late Effects, Assessment and Follow-Up (LEAF) for adults who have survived childhood cancer.


For further information or if your are unsure of your risks book an appalment with CanScreenBC to discuss your options.



Large breast cancer rib




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