The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

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October 25, 2013

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month: What to Ask Your Doctor

 No one wants to think about breast cancer often, but there’s definitely one person with whom you should discuss the topic annually -- your doctor.  From innovative detection tests to new prevention research, your physician can be a great source of information on new ways women are protecting themselves from this life-threatening illness.

“Between family, friends and career, a doctor’s appointment may not be a top priority for women. But checkups are integral to breast cancer prevention,” says Dr. Steven Quay, Chairman, CEO and President of Atossa Genetics and inventor of the ForeCYTE Breast Health Test.

“October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness month, is an excellent time to take five minutes to schedule your screening exams,” Quay says.

Here are key topics to discuss with your doctor to ensure you make the most of your visit:

Risk

Breast cancer risk is multifaceted. Age is one factor -- as you get older your risk rises. Certain lifestyle factors can also increase your risk -- being overweight, taking birth control pills, alcohol consumption and not having children.

Genetic risk, heredity, the presence of pre-malignant cells and breast density should also be considered. Talk to your doctor about what tests you should be receiving to determine your risk, and if there are lifestyle changes you should make.

Testing

Breast cancer can strike at any age. Unfortunately, mammography, the most common test which is now controversial as to its effectiveness, isn’t recommended for younger women. But now there are adjunct tests that younger women can request that can detect silent, reversible milk duct hyperplasia, a condition that can lead to breast cancer in a decade if left untreated. The new quick and non-invasive ForeCYTE Breast Health Test, for example, collects and analyzes individual cells from a small sample of milk duct fluid collected from each breast, and can provide vital early detection of cancer or pre-cancerous conditions.

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