Breast cancer can strike anyone, and the risk increases with age. The current guidelines recommend that women forty years old and over have screening mammograms once a year. But some women are at a higher-than-average risk of developing breast cancer, and their screening program needs to be different. Here are the risk factors:

Family history – breast cancer in a first degree relative such as mother, sister or daughter, or breast cancer in multiple aunts, cousins, all originating from one side of your family.

Dense breasts – young, dense breasts are difficult to x-ray or feel and examine, making detection difficult.

Hereditary cancer syndrome – an inherited change in certain genes can lead to development of earlier, and more aggressive breast and ovarian cancers, that should be detected as early as possible.

Women at high risk for breast cancer should begin by consulting a genetic counselor, a surgeon and perhaps an oncologist. We can provide all these services right here at Avera Breast Center. Just call us and make an appointment.