I hope someone on here can shed some light on this. I have always heard that it's your maternal ancestors that are taken into consideration when evaluating a person's risk of breast cancer and that your paternal side isn't something that would affect you. My sister said she received a letter from her doctor stating that new evidence has shown that a paternal grandmother with breast cancer puts you at just as high of a risk as your maternal grandmother. My father's mother died from breast cancer when she was in her 40's, but up until now neither my sister or I thought it was something to be concerned about. Is this something new as the letter stated? My sister and I have always been very good about getting a mammogram every year (she's 49, I'm 53) but this letter stated that because our risk has now been raised, they would do a 'different' kind mammogram now that is more sensitive to detecting a problem than a 'regular' mammogram....I believe they said digital? Is this true also? I always thought a mammogram is a mammogram and there's only one way to do it, but if what this letter states is true, then yes, we would certainly prefer the 'better' one. Does anyone on here know anything about this? Any insight would be very much appreciated.
The risks of breast cancer are greater in first degree relatives such as mother or sister. The research is showing that father's side of family can carry the gene that effects breast cancer in families. But, remember, that cancer can be detected in people whose families do not have any specific history of breast cancer. There is a measurable trend for breast cancer in families with history of colon cancer, ovarian cancer, and lung cancer. The statistics are not reliable because human beings contribute a lot to their own health or lack of it. The other problem with statistics is that they are usually gathered in order to produce data for funding purposes. So, if they are trying to get funding for research the data for people dying from breast cancer may be biased in order to get more money. Same thing if the data is trying to show success rates for treatment. The digital mamogram is simply a new technique from the computer age, just like the digital camera at home. In medical studies it does enhance diagnostic abilities in dense breast tissue, followed by sonogram for verification. Nothing is different about the exam that a person experiences except that the better the images are the less pulling and tugging has to be done. That is a relief in itself.
M grandmother had breast cancer when she was 35 and was informed then that there was a risk that is may be genetic. There are 4 duaghters and 6 grand-duaghters who have all been told that if it is genetic, we should all get checked out having a mammogram at the age of 25. The gene is more dominent in females so if a grandmother has had it there is an 60% chance it has been passed down.
4 days ago we had the news that my aunt had a lump in her breast but luckily it turned out to be benine. We have been informed since that as it was benine the chances of the gene being passed onto the rest of us has now been reduced to a 25% chance.
There was news yesterday that there is a new mammogram that has replaced the standard one. To be honest i would rather go regularly and have a mammogram than be at higher risk.
In terms of the letter.....they have to cover themselves and to be honest as my grandmother always says..."better to be say than sorry!" Try not to worry about it too much. I have found another health chat website that i found really informative, its new but everyone on it is really chatty and helpful. It called patients talking and is a dot com. Seriously i recommend it, i'm not trying to promote it, but as i said, everyone is really chatty and helpful no matter what the situation is and the best bit is....ITS FREE!!!!