Breast cancer is the most common cancer among United States women, no matter your race or ethnicity. The three main risk factors for breast cancer are being a woman, getting older and certain genetic changes.
Most women (about 8 out of 10) who get breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease. However, women who have close blood relatives like a mother or sister who have had breast cancer are at a higher risk themselves. About 5 to 10 percent of breast cancers are thought to be hereditary, meaning they result directly from gene changes passed on from a parent. The most common cause of hereditary breast cancer is an inherited change in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
Breast cancer may not cause any symptoms in its early stages. If symptoms do appear, they may include the following:
Routine screenings are an important step to help find breast cancer early. With early detection breast cancer is usually easier to treat and has better outcomes. A mammogram is the best test to detect breast cancer early.
Free mammograms are available through the Onondaga County Cancer Services Program (CSP) for women between the ages of 40 to 64 who do not have health insurance or experience other barriers to completing their screenings. Services are available at many healthcare provider sites throughout the city of Syracuse and Onondaga County.
Call 315-435-3653 or visit the CSP website at ongov.net/health/cancerscreening.html to
register for your free mammogram. Whether you have health insurance or not, having a mammogram may save your life. Take care of yourself this October and schedule your mammogram today!