Are you having back pain with any of the following?

  • Severe pain, weakness or tingling in your leg(s).
  • Difficulty stopping urination or loss of control of bladder or bowels.
  • Unexplained fever, nausea or vomiting.
  • A history of cancer or unexplained weight loss.

We understand that you are experiencing one or more of the health issues that might be impacting your back pain.

We recommend that you discuss these health issues with your doctor before proceeding with this program.

Once you are cleared by your doctor to do this program, we hope it helps you find relief from your back pain.

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Dr. Pan and Dr. Lee's Blog

Factors Related To Breast Cancer Risk

Aug 01, 2010

It is no surprise that almost everyday at work I am asked about what causes cancer. Numerous factors are related to causing cancer, some of them are well known to everyone, such as smoking, heavy alcohol use, exposure to certain chemicals and infection of certain viruses.

Frequency of breast cancer

In this blog, I will focus on the factors that are related to breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women and account for 23% of all female cancers. The incidence has been increasing globally. In industrialized countries, the incidence of breast cancer is three times higher than developing countries.

The good news is that after the practice of routine hormone replacement therapy for postmenopausal women stopped, the incidence of breast cancer has decreased, especially in 2003, when a deep drop of 6.7% was noted. Other good news is that with widespread mammogram screening breast cancers are now found in earlier stages and that has led to better rates of cure. Even when breast cancer has relapsed or is in advanced stage, the survival has improved significantly in the recent years.

Genetic impact on breast cancer risk- family history

Our gene makeup definitely impacts our chance of having breast cancer. In women with a known gene mutation called BRCA1 or BRCA2, their risk of having breast cancer is 70-80% during their lifetime.

For women without known BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation, but have breast or ovarian cancer in a first-degree relative (mother or sister), the risk of breast cancer is twice as high as those women without a family history of breast cancer. The risk is higher if the first-degree relative is diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer at an age younger than 50, or has had bilateral breast cancer.

Having a second-degree relative with a history of breast or ovarian cancer also increases the risk of breast cancer by approximately 50% compared to women without a family history of breast or ovarian cancer.

Pregnancy history and breast cancer risk

Women who have never been pregnant have twice the risk of developing breast cancer compared to women who have been pregnant.

Women who gave birth after age 30 have a 30% higher risk of developing breast cancer compared to women who give birth at age 20 or younger.

Early menarche is also associated with a slightly increased risk if menarche comes before age 12.

Late menopause after age 55 is associated with an increased risk as well. Like early menarche, it is thought that prolonged period of hormone exposure of the breast puts the breast at risk for developing cancer.

Other risk factors

Alcoholconsumption more than one drink a day has been associated with an increased risk. Even more moderate alcohol consumption of 3 drinks a week was recently associated to increase the risk.

Obesityin postmenopausal women increases the risk as well. Obesity also increases the risk of endometrial cancer, because of the increased amount of female hormone estrogen that is made in fat tissue.

Risk Reduction

Modification of lifestyle can help reduce the risk of breast cancer. Regular physical exercise, weight management, avoidance of smoking and limiting alcohol use can all help.

For women with known BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation, prophylactic mastectomies have shown to reduce breast cancer by more than 90%. Oophorectomies have also been shown to reduce breast cancer risk as well as ovarian cancer risk.

Regular screening mammography is important in detecting breast cancer early. If you have an increased risk, you should follow the screening guidelines and undergo the necessary screening.

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