Together we’re stronger in the fight against cancer.
At the St. Elizabeth Breast Center, we know that early detection is the best protection against breast cancer. For women over 40, this starts with regular self exams and an annual mammogram.
But it doesn’t stop there. That’s why we continue to enhance our services with leading-edge procedures and technologies. Our highly trained physicians and staff have also partnered with the YWCA Women’s Cancer Program to provide low-cost or free screenings to women in the Greater Lafayette area, giving them a chance to be there when it matters most.
An email to save your life
A mammogram helps screen healthy women for signs of breast cancer. It is also used to evaluate a woman who has symptoms of a breast disease, such as a lump, nipple discharge, breast pain, dimpling of the skin on the breast or retraction of the nipple.
Women with a mother or sister who had breast cancer should strongly consider annual mammograms earlier than the age at which their youngest family member was diagnosed.
Breast cancer is the second most lethal cancer in women. (Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in women.) The good news is that early detection and new treatments have improved survival rates. Unfortunately, women in lower social and economic groups still have significantly lower survival rates than women in higher groups.
Several factors are used to determine the risk for recurrence and the likelihood of successful treatment. They include:
Location of the tumor and how far it has spread
Whether the tumor is hormone receptor-positive or -negative
Tumor size and shape
Rate of cell division
Over the course of a lifetime, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
Breast cancer risk factors you cannot change include:
Age and gender - Your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you get older. Most advanced breast cancer cases are found in women over age 50. Women are 100 times more likely to get breast cancer than men.
Family history of breast cancer -You may also have a higher risk for breast cancer if you have a close relative who has had breast, uterine, ovarian, or colon cancer. About 20 - 30% of women with breast cancer have a family history of the disease.
Genes - Some people have genes that make them more likely to develop breast cancer. The most common gene defects are found in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. These genes normally produce proteins that protect you from cancer. If a parent passes you a defective gene, you have an increased risk for breast cancer. Women with one of these defects have up to an 80% chance of getting breast cancer sometime during their life.
Menstrual cycle - Women who got their periods early (before age 12) or went through menopause late (after age 55) have an increased risk for breast cancer.