Sonoma Valley Hospital

SPR 2013

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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P R E V E N T I V E H E A L T H (continued from page 15) the BRCA2 gene mutation. (Because of concerns about radiation exposure, physicians don't typically order a mammogram for anyone younger than 25.) no risk factors. Because this decade can be the most confusing, it's best to talk with your doctor about how often you will need to be screened at this age. Age 35: Some physicians will order Age 50: Get mammograms annu- regular mammograms for women with increased risk factors, such as a history of breast cancer in an immediate family member, changes in breast size or other physical changes. Age 40: Before the USPSTF revision, the big 4-0 was the typical starting point for regular screening mammograms. Now the recommendations are for every other year, and in some cases, that is all insurance companies will cover if you have ally, or more often if warranted by the results. Women who have a family history (first- or second-degree relatives on either side of the family) of certain types of cancers, including breast and ovarian, will need mammograms, self exams and other screening behaviors more urgently than those with no risk factors. The one caveat is that as many as 60 percent of women who get breast cancer do not have a family history of the disease, says Kimberly King-Spohn, MS, CGC, lead genetic counselor for the Cancer Risk Assessment Program at Wellstar Health System in Marietta, Ga. "It is a disease that is too common, even among those without a hereditary risk," she says. "The biggest risk factor is being a woman." • 5 BRE AST CA N C ER RISK FAC TOR S IS R AD I AT IO N A R ISK ? Some women put off mammograms because of their worries about radiation, which is a valid concern, says Dr. Alene Wright, affliated with Medical Center of Trinity in New Port Richey, Fla. But she adds that technology continues to improve, and mammogram radiation is at lower levels than it used to be. "You have to have between 10 to 15 mammograms to have the same radiation levels as one cross-country fight," she says, less than is generated by CT scans or other advanced imaging. 1. Aging 2. Personal history of cancer in one breast 3. BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation 4. Family history among frst- or second-degree relatives 5. Breast lesions Source: American Cancer Society SHUTTERSTOCK 24 SPI RIT O F WOM EN S P R I N G 2 013 w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m

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