Risk, Prevention & Screening
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Risk Risk
We are starting to understand some, but not all of the factors that determine if a person is likely to develop breast cancer. It is now clear that genetics plays an important role for some people, how our bodies function also plays a critical role, environmental exposures or other medical treatments can contribute, and from a practical standpoint the awareness of your own risk and careful attention to recommended screening affects the outcome if you do develop breast cancer. We now have several models that permit us to get an estimate of any one individual's risk of developing cancer. The most common is the Gail model.

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- Prevention
There are several avenues to pursue that may decrease any one person's risk of developing breast cancer. These include specific aspects of your lifestyle, regular recommended screening depending upon your risk, and in some cases of individuals at high risk medical or surgical treatments.

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- Screening
The earlier that breast cancer is found, the easier it is to treat. This is why it is important to screen, or check for the signs of cancer, regularly. The UC Irvine Breast Health Center physicians follow the American Cancer Society's recommended screening guidelines. The American Cancer Society's cancer screening guidelines are recommended for those people at average risk for cancer (unless otherwise specified) and without any specific symptoms. People who are at increased risk for certain cancers may need to follow a different screening schedule, such as starting at an earlier age or being screened more often. Those with symptoms that could be related to cancer should see their doctor right away.

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