Women Shouldn't Rule out Family History for Breast Cancer - 8 News NOW

Women Shouldn't Rule out Family History for Cancer Risk

Posted: Updated:

LAS VEGAS -- Women who have no family history of breast cancer may have a false sense of security about their risk for getting the disease.

A six-year study of 6,000 women found most of those who developed breast cancer had no family history. But it is one of many factors which can help assess your risk. Oncologist Dr. Heather Allen starts by asking patients when they started their period.

"If you start before the age of 12, that adds another tick up in your overall risk assessment. If you don't have any children or you have your first child after the age of 30, same thing. That all has to do with the exposure of the breast to estrogen," said Dr. Heather Allen, Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada.

One of the biggest risk factors, besides being a woman, is simply being over the age of 50. And the risk rises with age. But many women who score low on all the known risk factors still wind up getting breast cancer. Dr. Allen explains why it's still vital to know your risk.

"We can't change some things that happened in the past like having your first child at the age of 36, or not having any. But for women who are at high risk there's a medication called tamoxifen that we know can reduce your risk by about 50 percent."

If you'd like to take a risk assessment quiz, click here.

  • Paula's Health NotesLas Vegas Health NewsMore>>

  • Prostate frozen lumpectomy offers patients an alternative

    Prostate frozen lumpectomy offers patients an alternative

    Monday, July 28 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-07-28 19:00:33 GMT
    More than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year according to the American cancer society. In most cases, surgical removal of the gland is considered the gold standard of treatment, but results of a new study suggest a new treatment might benefit some patients.More>>
    More than 230,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year according to the American cancer society. In most cases, surgical removal of the gland is considered the gold standard of treatment, but results of a new study suggest a new treatment might benefit some patients.More>>
  • New therapies for epilepsy

    New therapies for epilepsy

    Friday, July 25 2014 3:00 PM EDT2014-07-25 19:00:14 GMT
    pilepsy is a chronic neurological condition that affects more than 2.5 million Americans. Uncontrollable seizures plague these patients’ lives. Until now, the only treatments were drugs and major surgery, but new therapies are on the horizon.More>>
    pilepsy is a chronic neurological condition that affects more than 2.5 million Americans. Uncontrollable seizures plague these patients’ lives. Until now, the only treatments were drugs and major surgery, but new therapies are on the horizon.More>>
  • Study touts health care workers with less than bachelor's degree

    Study touts health care workers with less than bachelor's degree

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:08 AM EDT2014-07-24 04:08:05 GMT
    Among Las Vegas workers with less than a bachelor’s degree only 3.5 percent hold jobs in the most common health care occupations, the lowest percentage among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, the Brookings Institution reported Wednesday night.More>>
    Among Las Vegas workers with less than a bachelor’s degree only 3.5 percent hold jobs in the most common health care occupations, the lowest percentage among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, the Brookings Institution reported Wednesday night.More>>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KLAS. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.