21 October 2016: Dr Arien on Breast Health at UP (Bestmed)
Topic: Breast Health
Date: 21 October 2016
October is Breast Health Month
Click here for Dr Arien’s complete article on the ‘Breast Health’
The most devastating loss of life from breast cancer occurs in women between 30-50 years of age. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the leading cause of death in women 40-44 years of age. Although breast cancer has only 10% the morbidity and mortality of coronary heart disease, it is generally more feared.
Yet the American Medical Association (AMA) journal, American Medical News, reports that little documented evidence exists to prove that mammography saves lives from breast cancer.
As reported in more and more research based feedback, even as a detection tool, mammography has doubtful place in clinical practice. Other technologies are proving to be more effective in breast cancer detection and should become part of mainstream clinical practice in order to save more lives. Fortunately, women today have more options available to them to help in the detection of breast cancer than in past decades. Unfortunately, education and awareness of these options and their effectiveness in detecting breast cancer at different stages in life are sadly deficient.
The hereditary breast cancer genes, referred to as BRCA 1 and 2, are associated with breast and ovarian cancers. However, these genetic factors account for only 5-10% of all breast cancer! Lesser known factors are estimated to account for another 10% of all breast cancers. In at least 70% of cases, however, the cause of breast cancer is as yet unknown.
Anri van der Merwe
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