Margie Petersen Breast Center at Providence Saint John's Health
The Margie Petersen Breast Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center provides a one-stop, comprehensive, multidisciplinary clinic for an array of supportive services to complement your breast health conditions.
Breast Health Tests
Common tests used to evaluate the breasts include clinical breast exams, mammograms, ultrasound, and MRI.
- Gender. Breast cancer occurs nearly 100 times more often in women than in men.
- Race or ethnicity. It has been noted that white women develop breast cancer slightly more often than African-American women. However, African-American women tend to die of breast cancer more often. This may be due to the fact that African-American women often develop a more aggressive type of tumor. The risk for developing breast cancer and dying from it is lower in Hispanic, Native American, and Asian women.
- Aging. Most breast cancer is diagnosed in women after age 55.
- Previous radiation therapy to the chest during adolescence. Women who had radiation therapy to the chest for another type of cancer are at greater risk of developing breast cancer.
- Family history. Having a close relative, such as a mother or sister, with breast cancer increases one’s risk of developing breast cancer.
- Genetic factors. Only about 5-10% of all breast cancer is known to be associated with an inherited genetic mutation. The most common mutations are in BRCA1 and BRCA2. If someone inherits such a mutation, the risk of developing breast cancer is much higher than for the average man or woman.
- Benign breast disease. Women with certain benign (not cancerous) breast conditions (such as atypical ductal or lobular hyperplasia, or lobular carcinoma in situ) have an increased risk of developing breast cancer.
- Mammographically dense breast tissue. Breast tissue may look dense or fatty on a mammogram. Women with dense breast tissue are at slightly increased risk of developing breast cancer. Dense breast tissue also makes it more difficult to see changes on mammogram. Tomosynthesis makes this easier.
- Diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure. Women who took this drug while pregnant (to lower the chance of miscarriage), and their daughters born from that pregnancy, are at slightly higher risk.
- Early menstrual periods. Women whose periods began early in life (before age 12) have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer.
- Late menopause. Women are at a slightly higher risk if they began menopause later in life (after age 55).
View more risk factors at the American Cancer Society.
The Margie Petersen Breast Center Breast Team endorses the American Cancer Society recommendations for taking an active role in reducing your risk of developing breast cancer by:
- Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight.
- Staying physically active.
- Limiting or eliminating alcohol from your diet.
Patients of the Margie Petersen Breast Center who are at high risk for breast cancer, and those who are diagnosed with breast cancer, are referred to the Willow Sage Wellness program nutritionist for a full body composition assessment and tailored nutritional coaching. Performance Physical Therapy also provides consultation on fitness and exercise.
Our calculator is intended only as a guideline. Please see your Providence Saint John’s Margie Petersen Breast Center surgeon or cancer genetics and genomics team to determine your risk of developing breast cancer.