Know Your Breast Cancer Risk

  • The older you get, the greater your breast cancer risk.

     

    A. True

     

    B. False

    Correct Answer
    The correct answer is true. Most advanced cases of breast cancer are found in women over age 50. To help find breast cancer early, all women over 40 should talk with their doctor about what they should do for breast cancer screening. If you have certain risk factors, your doctor may recommend starting breast cancer screening earlier.
  • Men cannot get breast cancer.

     

    A. True

     

    B. False

    Correct Answer
    The correct answer is false. Men can get breast cancer. But their risk is 100 times smaller than a woman's risk.
  • Your breast cancer risk is higher if you have a family history of:

     

    A. Ovarian cancer

     

    B. Colon cancer

     

    C. Uterine cancer

     

    D. Breast cancer

     

    E. All of the above

    Correct Answer
    The correct answer is all of the above. Tell your doctor if a close relative has had ovarian, colon, uterine, or breast cancer. You may benefit from enhanced breast cancer screening, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • Most women with breast cancer have a family history of the disease.

     

    A. True

     

    B. False

    Correct Answer
    The correct answer is false. Only 20-30% of women with breast cancer have a family history of the disease. So it's important to be aware of changes in your breasts and get regular mammograms, even if you have no family history.
  • The BRCA gene plays a role in your lifetime breast cancer risk:

     

    A. True

     

    B. False

    Correct Answer
    The correct answer is true. Genes called BRCA1 and BRCA2 make proteins that protect against cancer. Having a mutation in one of these genes increases your risk of breast cancer by as much as 80%. If you are of Ashkenazi Jewish descent or have a family history of breast cancer, you may want to talk with your doctor about genetic testing.
  • Your breast cancer risk is higher if you got your first period after age 13.

     

    A. True

     

    B. False

    Correct Answer
    The correct answer is false. Being a late bloomer lowers your breast cancer risk. Your risk is higher if you got your first period before age 12. Going through menopause late (after age 55) also increases your risk.
  • Having your first child before age 30:

     

    A. Increases your breast cancer risk.

     

    B. Decreases your breast cancer risk.

     

    C. Has no impact on breast cancer risk.

    Correct Answer
    The correct answer is decreases your breast cancer risk. Women who have no children or have them after age 30 are more likely to get breast cancer. Becoming pregnant at an earlier age and being pregnant more than once can reduce your risk.
  • Hormone therapy for menopause can raise your breast cancer risk.

     

    A. True

     

    B. False

    Correct Answer
    The correct answer is true. Using hormones to treat the symptoms of menopause for a long period of time can raise your breast cancer risk a small amount. Most guidelines consider hormone therapy safe for breast cancer risk when taken for up to 5 years.
  • Alcohol may raise your breast cancer risk if you have more than:

     

    A. 1 to 2 drinks a week

     

    B. 1 to 2 drinks a day

     

    C. 3 to 4 drinks a day

    Correct Answer
    The correct answer is 1 to 2 drinks a day. You can lower your breast cancer risk by sticking to one drink a day or less. Women with a high risk of developing breast cancer should consider avoiding alcohol altogether.
  • Putting on too much weight can raise your breast cancer risk.

     

    A. True

     

    B. False

    Correct Answer
    The correct answer is true. There is a link between obesity and breast cancer, although doctors aren't sure why. One theory is that obese women produce more estrogen, which fuels the development of breast cancer. Consider it one more reason to strive for a healthy weight.
  • Which is most likely to raise your breast cancer risk?

     

    A. Underwire bras

     

    B. Antiperspirants

     

    C. Breast implants

     

    D. None of the above

    Correct Answer
    The correct answer is none of the above. Feel free to wear any style of bra you like without increasing your risk of breast cancer. Breast implants and daily antiperspirant use also have no effect.
  • Which could be a sign of breast cancer?

     

    A. Change in breast size or shape

     

    B. Redness or dimpling of the breast

     

    C. Fluid coming from the nipple

     

    D. A firm lump in the breast or armpit

     

    E. All of the above

    Correct Answer
    The correct answer is all of the above. See your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. But keep in mind that early breast cancer most often has no symptoms. That's why regular screenings are important.