Breast cancer questions answered
Talking about breast cancer
Here are the questions and answers from our live chat with Dr. Wende Logan-Young:
Q: My mother had breast cancer; am I definitely going to get it?
Dr. Logan-Young: No. You're at increased risk of getting it, but you're more likely not to get it than get it. The average woman has a one-in-nine chance, but a woman with a mother or sister who had breast cancer has a one-in-six chance. So that means five out of six of those women won't get it. Age and gender are more of risk factors than anything else.
Q:I'm deathly afraid of getting breast cancer; what can I do to prevent it?
Dr. Logan-Young: There's very little you can do to prevent it; just make sure you find it. The studies about risk factors such as dietary fat are inconclusive. But recommendations such as low-fat diet are good for preventing other illnesses such as heart disease. More women die of heart disease than breast cancer. One article was published that said exercise reduces the risk of breast cancer--but it was just one article. Still, these are good, healthy habits. Instead of focusing on preventing breast cancer, put your energy into preventing heart disease since your risk is eight times greater of dying from heart disease. Most of the recommendations are the same -- low-fat diet, regular exercise, high-fiber diet and others. It can't hurt to adopt healthy habits.