Breast Health: Family Matters? Not So Much.

Breast Health: Family Matters? Not So Much.

When it comes to breast health, you hear the word “family” a lot. Family matters. Family isn’t just your support system, but your genetic history – and, frequently, the future map of your health. Those with family histories of breast and ovarian cancers may face an increased risk of getting cancer someday.

That well-known fact can hide another important fact. Approximately 85% of breast cancers occur in families with no genetic history of breast or ovarian cancer at all. Yes, you heard that right:

Just because breast cancer doesn’t run in your family does not mean you’re “in the clear.” You still need to perform regular self-examinations, get your annual mammogram and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Now, having said all that, here are some encouraging words:

  • Lower alcohol intake is associated with lower breast cancer risk.

  • A healthy diet makes a difference.

  • For goodness sakes… please don’t smoke.

  • And impressively, mammograms show changes in the breast two years before they can be felt – so get your annual screening mammogram. Early detection saves lives.

One in eight women will be diagnosed with cancer in her lifetime. You run the risk of being one of the other seven. Be proactive. Do everything you can.



Originally posted 4/30/13 on