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Breast Cancer Overview & Risk Factors

Intense research has resulted in a great deal of knowledge about breast cancer. The factors that increase breast cancer risk include lifestyle (e.g., poor diet, sedentary, moderate to excessive alcohol consumption), certain genetic factors and dense breast tissue. Many of these factors can be reduced by taking steps before cancer strikes (risk mitigation) by adopting a healthier life-style and getting routine screening (e.g., mammograms, tomeography) that is proportional to one’s risk. Although tamoxifen has been used to reduce breast cancer risk, it is not a widely accepted practice due to safety concerns.

Once breast cancer is diagnosed, treatment plans can include surgery, radiation and/or chemotherapy. After the initial treatment, long term drug therapy can reduce the risk of new or recurrent cancer.

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