Understanding breast cancer risks

By Cathy Tatom - Investigative Producer

HOUSTON - More than 18,000 new cases of breast cancer will be detected in Texas women by the end of the year. The estimate comes from the American Cancer Society.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer women may face, with the possible exception of skin cancer. Women can get it any any age, but the risk increases with age. Men can also get it, but in men it's very rare.

Finding and treating breast cancer early, before it spreads, makes it easier to treat.

Breast cancer screening recommendations:

  • Women 40 to 44 should have a choice to begin annual screening mammograms.
  • Women 45 to 54 should have annual mammograms to check for breast cancer.
  • Women over 55 should switch to getting mammograms every other year.

A very small group of women with a family history, genetic tendency or certain other risk factors should include MRI screenings with mammograms. The American Cancer Society recommends talking to your doctor about the screening schedule that's right for you.

Here are some links for more information:

When a breast cancer doctor becomes the patient

Cancer facts for women

Cancer statistics in Texas

Breast cancer facts and figures

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