Breast Cancer Screening: 6 Things to know

What Is Breast Cancer Screening, And Why Should You Take It Seriously?

What You Need to Know about Breast Cancer Screening

Breast cancer is a scary word. It’s an illness that all women fear, and it can develop out of nowhere for those who have never experienced the disease. Fortunately, today there are screening techniques available to help identify breast cancers at earlier stages when treatment options may be more effective. Let’s explore things you need to know about breast cancer screening and why you must take it seriously.

Breast cancer screening is an early detection measure that can identify the presence of breast cancer before any symptoms or signs appear. With this information, a medical professional may offer treatment options and potentially even help prevent it from worsening.

When Should You Get Screened For Breast Cancer?

If you want to minimize your risk of developing breast cancer, start with yearly mammograms after age 40. The National Cancer Institute recommends annual mammography starting at age forty, as long as you’re in good health. Mammogram screenings are a safe way to detect early signs that something may be wrong before it turns into something life-threatening.

Who Is At High Risk For Breast Cancer?

1. The risk of getting breast cancer is significantly increased for those with a biopsy that found lobular carcinoma in situ or atypical hyperplasia.
People With A History Of Breast Conditions
2. If your mother, sister, or daughter was diagnosed with the disease, especially at an early age, you might want to pay attention and check for any symptoms.
People With A Family History of Breast Cancer
3. Women who take hormone therapy medications that combine estrogen and progesterone to treat the symptoms of menopause have an increased risk of breast cancer. However, this risk decreases when women stop taking these medications.
Post-menopausal Hormone Therapy
Radiation to the chest or face can lead to breast cancer. In addition, if you have had radiation therapy for Hodgkin's disease, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, or other cancers—you are at higher risk of developing it later in life.
Radiation to Chest or Face Before Age 30
Women who have dense breasts are 4-5 times more likely to get breast cancer. This isn’t about how dense your breasts feel–it’s about how they look on a mammogram. Your doctor can help you figure out your breast density and what screening methods and schedule are best for you.
Breast Density on a Mammogram

What If Your Screening Results Come Out Positive?

Mammograms are not perfect; sometimes, they can give false positives. For example, a test may come back with a falsely positive result and show that you have cancer when it is just the mammogram being inaccurate during its assessment of your breast tissue.

False-positive mammography results are not uncommon, especially in younger women. Around 50% of women encounter a false-positive finding in a ten-year screening period. Aside from age and density issues with breasts, many other factors may contribute to this type of reading, including family history and use of estrogen medication.
Even if you have an abnormal mammogram, it may not be cancer.
Doctors recommend that if your mammogram does show something abnormal, you should seek follow-up tests to determine whether or not the finding is breast cancer. Biopsies are often used for this purpose and can help rule out any mistakes.
Altus Lifescience Breath Test Breast Cancer screening

What's Next In Breast Cancer Screening Research?

It’s been proven that mammograms and MRIs can provide false positives. There are new technologies in the works, though, to help diagnose breast cancer earlier on in its life cycle!

Altus Lifescience we use breath technology to detect the early signs of cancer without any physical contact or taking blood samples. This new technique is a much-needed breakthrough in cancer detection because it’s non-invasive, contactless, and highly sensitive.