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HHS HealthBeat (October 5, 2012)

Breast cancer and family history

A woman gets a mammogram.
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Know Your Family History

From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Nicholas Garlow with HHS HealthBeat.

Certain women are at a greater risk for breast cancer because of their family tree. Knowing your family history can help you understand that risk, and manage it. 

Dr. Jacqueline Miller is a medical director of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“If a woman has a close relative such as a parent, siblings, or children with breast cancer, or if she has relatives who were diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 50, she will be considered at increased risk.”

Women should talk with family members about the family history of breast cancer.

“This information should be then discussed with their doctor, to determine their risk factor.”

Family history aside, women are at increased risk for breast cancer if they are obese, inactive, or drink too much.

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HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Nicholas Garlow.

Last revised: October 5, 2012