Category FAQs Search : Health

Question: Risk factors and cancer screening:

Answer: Understanding your risk for cancer can help your doctor decide whether you could benefit from:

A cancer screening test, such as a mammogram or colonoscopy

A screening test at an earlier age and more often than routine screening

Surgery or medication to lower your cancer risk

For example, a woman whose mother had breast cancer is at least twice as likely to have breast cancer than a woman who does not have the same family history. Some women have strong family histories or genetic mutations linked to breast cancer. Since they are at a very high risk of breast cancer, they may choose to remove their breasts to prevent cancer. This surgery appears to lower the risk of getting breast cancer by at least 95%. Also, these women may choose to take medicine to lower the risk of breast cancer.

People with a strong family history of cancer may consider genetic testing. Your doctor or genetic counselor can talk with you about getting certain genetic tests. They can tell you your risk of getting cancer based on your family history and other risk factors.

(Source: Cancer.Net, 16 Mar 2021)

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