- Find a Doctor
- Medical Services
- Patients & Visitors
- Classes & Events
- Health Library
- Why Choose Sharp?
Dr. Tere Trout is a Sharp Grossmont Hospital-affiliated radiologist and is part of the Breast Imaging Center at Grossmont Imaging. Dr. Trout shares some lifesaving facts about breast cancer and provides tips on how you can help minimize your risk of this disease.
Is it possible to prevent breast cancer?
Unfortunately, no — it is not possible to prevent breast cancer. However, risk factors can decrease by maintaining a healthy weight, exercising, performing monthly breast self-exams and having annual mammograms after the age of 40. Anyone with a very strong family history of breast cancer should be tested for gene mutations that increase an individuals risk for breast cancer.
Who is at risk of breast cancer? How do I know if I’m at risk?
The overall lifetime risk of breast cancer is about 10 percent, and that risk increases with age. Please remember that the majority of patients diagnosed with a new case of breast cancer have no family history of the disease. People with strong family histories are at an increased risk, and should consider genetic testing if one or two immediate female relatives have been diagnosed with breast cancer. These families also may have histories of ovarian and colon cancers.
How important are screenings and at what age should I start?
Mammography remains the gold standard for detection of early breast cancer, and screening in a patient with no known risk factors should begin at age 40. If a palpable mass is felt, that should be evaluated at the time of detection, no matter what the patient's age. An important fact to remember is that 10 percent of breast cancers are not detected by mammography, so breast self-exam remains an important tool in the detection of abnormalities.
Do I need a referral from my physician to schedule a mammogram?
Yearly mammograms may be scheduled without a doctor's referral, but a primary care physician should be on record so that he or she can receive results, and in the case of any abnormalities make the appropriate referrals.
What are the survival rates?
Survival rates with early detection are excellent. Five-year survival rates for early breast cancers average over 90 percent, and survival rates for more advanced cancers average 50 percent or above.
Find a San Diego Oncologist
To find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego oncologist specializing in breast cancer or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm.