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Family History

Family History

December 14, 2021
Everett Bonner, MD
Everett Bonner, MD

Breast Surgery

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Transcript

They say, “What about my family history? When should I get mammograms then?” What we look at is, what was the age of the family members? What was the degree of that relative? What I mean degree, what I mean is, was it a mother, a first degree? Was it a sister, a father, a brother? Men can still get breast cancer. They comprise 1% of all breast cancers. So that’s a very important fact in your family history. So if your mother had breast cancer at age 45, we always say, start your mammograms 10 years younger than the youngest primary relative in your family. So that means you should start your mammograms at age 35. What if your mother was 35? Then it’s 25. What if my mother was 30? I say, hold off. Twenty-five is usually an industry standard and in the medical field, they probably should not start mammograms at age younger than the age of 25. So 25 is usually my minimal age. So if your mother was 30, still 25, but be mindful, your mother was very, very young. So hopefully she had some genetic testing. And so you may know your risk at that point. But if your mother had breast cancer at age, say, 30, and you were 20, what should I do? What you should do is consult your local breast surgeon or someone who specializes in breast cancer and go into we call a high-risk program. You probably should be getting self breast exams once a month. And you can go with that with your physician. I still do recommend those. I also recommend a semi-annual clinical breast exam. And that’s by a physician who is knowledgeable about breast tissue, the densities of breast tissue, especially in younger women, and do the clinical breast exams so that if you were one of those young persons under the age of 30 who gets breast cancer, we can find this in a timely fashion. Because early detection saves lives. And then once you get to 25, then we can start initiating your mammograms.