Understand your risk and protect against breast cancer

Updated: Oct. 5, 2017 at 10:23 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The American Cancer Society warns that nearly 250,000 people will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the perfect time to remind families that finding that cancer is a good thing because early detection is the key to a cure.

Dr. Catherine Jones, an Oncologist and Texas Tech Physician, wants people to know that there are a lot of factors that can put women at high risk of breast cancer, just as there are factors that can reduce the risk.

She explains, "The greatest risk factor is being a woman. After that, the risk increases with age, a family history of breast cancer, genetic predispositions are a large risk factor for breast cancer, but fortunately those make up a small portion - only five to 10  percent of breast cancer cases."

Other risk factors include starting a period at an early age or going through menopause after age 55, or never having children. On the other hand, she says, we know that breast feeding does offer a protective benefit when it comes to breast cancer risk.

As for mammography, she says it is still an important screening tool. "There's lots of different screening recommendations. and the bottom line is starting breast cancer screening at age 40 saves lives. So, the greatest controversy comes from age 40 to 50 but even in that age group, we know that breast screening with mammography does save lives."

Dr. Jones will be among other the many doctors joining patients and their families in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure at the Civic Center this Saturday morning.

You can even enter your pet in the 'Bark for a Cure.'

If you have not registered already, you can do that at the Civic Center at 7:30 a.m. Special ceremonies begin at 8 a.m. and different races begin at different times after that.

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