Taking Charge of Your Breast Health: Next Steps to Consider

Breast cancer remains a significant health concern for women today. It affects approximately 1 in 8 women in the US, making it a leading cause of cancer death in women. But, the good news is that by taking proactive steps, you can improve your chances of detecting and treating breast cancer early. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some next steps you can take to better understand your breast cancer risk and manage your health.

1. Talk to your Family

If you haven’t already, it’s important to talk to your family about your family health history. The more information you have, the better equipped you’ll be to make decisions about your breast health. The Family Health History Tool is an excellent resource that makes it easy for you to gather, record, and share your family’s health information. You can use this tool to discuss your breast cancer risk with your doctor and develop a screening plan that’s right for you.

2. Talk with Your Doctor

Your doctor is an excellent resource for information on breast cancer screening and prevention. It’s essential to ask questions and have open communication with your healthcare provider about any concerns you have. Ask your physician about your breast cancer risk and how to find out if you’re at higher risk. You can also discuss breast cancer screening tests and when you should start getting them. Further, they can help you manage some of the symptoms associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, mood swings, and vaginal dryness.

3. Consider Genetic Counseling and Testing

If a family member has an inherited gene mutation that increases their risk of breast cancer, you may also be at higher risk. Your doctor can refer you to a genetic counselor, who can help you understand your risk and discuss genetic testing options. If you do have a genetic mutation, you can work with your doctor to develop a screening and prevention plan that’s tailored to your needs.

4. Higher Risk of Breast Cancer

If you’re at higher risk of breast cancer, you may need to be screened earlier and more frequently than other women. Your doctor can help you develop a screening plan that’s right for you. Additionally, they will discuss the best way to manage your risk, including risk-lowering drugs and surgery. There are also clinical trials enrolling individuals at high risk of breast cancer, and your doctor can provide information on how to learn more about these options.

Breast cancer is a concern for all women, but there are steps you can take to take charge of your breast health. Steps like talking to your family, talking with your doctor, considering genetic counseling and testing, and developing a screening plan that’s right for you are all important. By being proactive and staying informed, you can help detect and treat breast cancer early, improving your chances of survival. Don’t wait until it’s too late; start taking charge of your breast health today.