About three out of 10 new cancer diagnoses in women are breast cancers. Fortunately, enhanced detection methods and new cancer treatments are improving patient outcomes in women in the US, including those in Arizona. Dignity Health’s Chandler Regional Medical Center and St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center collaborate with the Dignity Health – Cancer Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center, giving our patients access to the latest breast cancer clinical trials and prevention methods.
To learn more about breast cancer prevention in Arizona, speak with an oncologist at Dignity Health. For the services you need, Find a Doctor at a location near you.
Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Breast Cancer
When you partner with a doctor at Dignity Health, the first step towards breast cancer prevention involves your risk factors. You can start by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Experts recommend regular exercise, following a healthy diet, and limiting how much alcohol you drink.
In addition to lifestyle changes, our doctors encourage regular breast cancer screenings, even if you do not have symptoms. Routine screenings include a clinical breast exam — during which your doctor looks and feels for breast lumps and changes in texture — and a mammogram — a digital exam that uses X-rays to make images of the breast. Mammography is the most effective way to detect early breast cancer.
Dignity Health also uses the latest diagnostic screening technology to perform breast CT, breast MRI, and breast ultrasound.
For women with a high risk of breast cancer, options for prevention may include drug therapy, called chemoprevention, which uses special drugs to block the effect of estrogen on breast tissue, decreasing the risk of breast cancer for some women. In some cases, high risk patients may opt for a mastectomy, which can reduce breast cancer risks by about 97 percent.
Breast Cancer Risk Factors
Cancer experts know the following things increase the risk for breast cancer:
- Caucasian race
- Increased age
- Dense breast tissue
- Personal or family history of breast cancer
- Previous chest radiation
- Gene mutations — five to 10 percent of breast cancers are associated with BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations
- Early menstruation (younger than 12)
- Late menopause (o)lder than 55
In addition, lifestyle factors, such as drinking alcohol, not exercising, and being overweight, can also increase your risk for breast cancer.
In collaboration with the the University of Arizona Cancer Center, Dignity Health is dedicated to providing excellence for breast cancer prevention in Arizona.