Breast Cancer Prevention (cont.)
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
In this Article
- Introduction to breast cancer prevention
- What are the biological causes of breast cancer?
- What are the risk factors for developing breast cancer?
- What is the importance of early breast cancer detection?
- What are the advantages and limitations of mammography?
- How frequently should women undergo mammography and breast examinations?
- What is the risk of radiation with repeated mammography screening over the years?
- Are there any controversies in the area of breast cancer screening?
- How helpful are BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic tests in identifying women at risk?
- What is the link between estrogen and breast cancer?
- What are breast cancer prevention treatments?
- Are there other breast cancer prevention measures?
There are two important aspects in breast cancer prevention: early detection and risk reduction. Screening may identify early noninvasive cancers and allow treatment before they become invasive or identify invasive cancers at an early treatable stage. But screening does not, per se, prevent cancer. Breast cancer prevention really must be understood as risk reduction. In extremely high-risk patients, such as those who have BRCA mutations, risk reduction may involve prophylactic surgical removal of the breasts and ovaries. For the average patient, lifestyle modifications (diet, exercise, weight loss, etc.) may be easily recommended and have many other benefits. For patients who have an increased risk based on other factors, the use of hormone-blocking agents, in addition to the usual lifestyle recommendations, may also be considered.
"American Cancer Society Guidelines for the Early Detection of Cancer." American Cancer Society. July 6, 2010. <http://www.cancer.org/Healthy/FindCancerEarly/CancerScreeningGuidelines/
"Can Breast Cancer Be Prevented?" American Cancer Society. Feb. 9, 2011. <http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/BreastCancer/DetailedGuide/breast-cancer-prevention>.
"Screening for Breast Cancer." U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Dec. 2009. <http://www.uspreventiveservicestaskforce.org/uspstf/uspsbrca.htm>.
United States. National Cancer Institute. "Breast Cancer." Oct. 15, 2009. <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/breast>.
United States. National Cancer Institute. "Breast Cancer Prevention." Mar. 29, 2012. <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/prevention/breast/HealthProfessional>.
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