Risk for Breast Cancer
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) conducted a study and found that approximately 60% of the women that developed breast cancer were not conventionally considered to be ‘at risk’. The susceptibility to this risk has alarmed countless women. So the question to ask is: How exactly can we measure this susceptibility? Is age a factor of consideration?
Right Age for a Breast Cancer Check
For women aged 40 or older, the American Cancer Society (ACS) and American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) suggest annual clinical breast examinations. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends women aged between 50 and 74 to positively get mammograms every other year. Those aged 30 years or younger tend to be less susceptible. Self-awareness and self-examination are the key to detecting breast cancer early.
Concerns about Screening Methods
Screening methods have resulted in some controversy, which needs to be kept in mind whilst undertaking examinations. These include psychological harms, unnecessary imaging tests and biopsies in women without cancer, and inconvenience due to false-positive screening results. False-positive test results lead to pre-diagnostic treatments that are problematic for women, particularly aged over 40 due to increased susceptibility.
Oncological medicinal research should aim to alleviate these side effects associated with screening. However, the overall opinion among the healthcare community is that pro-active breast self-examination and mammography screening beyond the age of 50 is certainly useful in identifying breast cancer at a stage, where there are treatment options available for cure or disease-free 10-year survival.