What Are the High-Risk Factors for Breast Cancer? Have the Screening Guidelines Changed?

As seen in the September/October 2019 issue of Advancing Care

“Much of it is based on family history,” says Karen Karsif, MD, Medical Director at the Center for Breast Health at Good Samaritan Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth) in Suffern. “Most people think only about the mother’s side, but the father’s family is equally important.”

In addition to family history, doctors consider biopsies with abnormal cells or questionable mammogram results. Obesity is another factor for all cancers, not just breast cancer, but the availability of hard data is limited. Alcohol intake should also be kept to a drink or two a day, at most, says Dr. Karsif.

The good news is that reproductive factors, including the length of a woman’s period, or the onset of early menopause, have minimal impact. Dr. Karsif advises that “it’s best to establish a baseline for mammograms at age 40 and continue every year thereafter.”

Do you have a health-related question for a WMCHealth physician or specialist?

Email your questions to [email protected], with “Just the Facts” in the subject heading. Your question may be featured in a future issue.

Visit us at Good Samaritan Hospital, a member of Westchester Medical Center Health Network, to learn more. Advancing Care. Here.