Martha Jefferson Monday: Understanding Your Risk of Breast Canc - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: Understanding Your Risk of Breast Cancer

With new technology, enhance research, and more experience, it’s becoming increasingly possible to detect breast cancer early, and get women on the road to recovery.

However, when it comes to understanding your own personal risk, breast health navigator Mary Beth Revak says it’s important not to forget the basics of good breast health.

“Women need to have their mammograms every year starting at age 40, if not earlier. Women need to do a breast self exam every month, and learn how to do it correctly, and women need to have their breasts examined by a clinician every year,” noted Revak.

Eighty-five percent of women diagnosed with breast cancer do not have a family history, so it’s likely something they may not automatically think about. For people who do have a history however, genetic counseling and testing is another option that helps women better understand their own risk.

“You can learn a lot from a blood draw,” said Martha Thomas, a certified genetic counselor at Martha Jefferson Hospital.” It collects your DNA and what we’re able to do when it comes to hereditary breast cancer is figure out what individuals have an underlying genetic pre-disposition to developing breast cancer.”

Thomas notes that whether or not you want to be testing, genetic counseling can be for everyone, as it provides an opportunity to have a simple conversation about breast cancer risk.

“That’s really when you sit down and talk about your family history and your personalized risk and decide if genetic testing would be appropriate for you or not,” shared Thomas.

Martha Jefferson Hospital is hosting a FREE community talk to help women better understand their risk of breast cancer. It will be held the evening of October 22 at the Martha Jefferson Outpatient Care Center. There will be a brief presentation, followed by a panel discussion with physicians. For more information, or to register, call Health Connection at (434) 654-7009.

Do you have health questions? Starting June 4, get the answers every Monday morning from the experts at Martha Jefferson Hospital in our new feature: Martha Jefferson Monday.

Jenn Downs will meet with the experts of Martha Jefferson Hospital and ask them your questions. You’ll see and hear the answers during NBC29 News at Sunrise every Monday morning.

Submit your questions now! Just click this link and write your question in the email. Then tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Martha Jefferson Monday brought to you by NBC29 and Martha Jefferson Hospital.

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