Family History no Clue to Risk of Breast Cancer

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 07, 2012

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Family History no Clue to Risk of Breast CancerAlthough it would be absolutely wrong to say that women aged between 40 and 49 should stop annual screening for breast cancer, new study shows that more than half the women suspected of breast cancer did not have a family history of the disease. The study conducted at Rochester took into account the mammography report of women in the age group 40-49.

The study was based on data of breast cancers in Rochester between 2000 and 2010. It showed that 61 percent of women aged 40-49 had no family history of breast cancer. Lead author of the study, Stamatia Destounis, said that out of the 211 women who were studied in the research, 135 or 64 percent had no prior personal history of breast cancer, neither any family history of breast cancer.

This report has a great relevance for India as mammography rate in the country is very low according to the statistics from WHO. According to the World Health Statistics (WHS), less than 5 percent women in India in the age group of 50-69 undergo screening by mammography, during 2000-2003. For deaths due to cancer, breast cancer is the most common form for women. With 1 out of 26 women in India expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer in their life according to WHO stat, the situation should ring alarm bells for health authorities in the country.

According to Dr. Bhavna Sirohi, breast cancer specialist, screening for breast cancer in women should start from the age of 45 in Indian women. This is particularly important because women in India attain menopause five years earlier than women in the west. This makes them more susceptible to be afflicted with breast cancer. Women in India need to start contemplating screening for breast cancer even if they do not have a family history of the same, according to this research.



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