Fredericksburg Parent

October 2015

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www.FredParent.NET • 17 Sponsored Material Join us October 15 for the live conversation on Would you like to ask Courtney Miller WHNP, BC, a question? She will be with us during our Ask The Expert live chat on October 15 th , on our Facebook Page, at 8:00pm. Come join the conversation! a sk t h e e x p e rt Q: What age should women start getting mammograms? The American Cancer Society recommends that women start yearly screening mammograms at the age of 40. If you are at "high risk" or have a strong family history of breast cancer, your provider may start imaging at the age of 35 or younger. Q: If I have a history of breast cancer in my family, should I start getting mammograms earlier? The first thing you should do if you have a family history of breast cancer is let your OB-GYN provider know. The answer truly depends on your personal family history and how old those family members were when they were diagnosed with breast cancer. Q: What is BRCA Testing? The BRCA gene test uses DNA analysis to identify harmful changes (mutations) in either one of the two breast cancer susceptibility genes — BRCA1 and BRCA2. Women who have inherited mutations in these genes face a much higher risk of developing breast and/or ovarian cancer compared with the general population. Q: Who would benefit from BRCA testing? The BRCA gene test is typically offered only to people who are likely to have an inherited mutation; based on personal or family history, those patients or family members who have specific types of breast cancer, or certain types of ethnic populations. Q: How do I know if I am at increased risk for breast cancer? Again, talking with your OB-GYN provider will get the conversation started and identify if there is family history. If your OB-GYN provider feels it is necessary, you may be referred to a breast specialist for further counseling and/or testing. Q: What happens if the BRCA test comes back positive? What is the next step? A positive test result indicates that a person has inherited a known harmful mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 and, therefore, has an increased risk of developing certain cancers. However, a positive test result cannot tell whether or when an individual will actually develop cancer. Further steps should be taken after a positive test result and might include taking specific measures to reduce your cancer risk. What you choose to do depends on many factors — including your age, medical history, prior treatments, past surgeries and personal preferences. Elite Women's Heath is an OBGYN office that offers a full range of gynecological, surgical and obstetric care for women in the Fredericksburg and Woodbridge areas. If you have questions or would like to make an appointment with Elite Women's Health, visit or call 540-940-2000. "The breast cancer mortality rate has decreased since 1989, largely due to earlier detection and improved treatments..."

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