How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr_Collins Your Own Question
Dr_Collins
Dr_Collins, Other
Category: Oncology
Satisfied Customers: 3064
Experience:  30+ years experience in evaluating and managing precancerous and cancerous conditions in women.
54412793
Type Your Oncology Question Here...
Dr_Collins is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

A friend recently was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is

Customer Question

A friend recently was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is 48. I'm 31. What are they chances of someone my age developing breast cancer? Last year, about 10 months ago, I had a breast ultrasound and exam. Everything was normal then.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Oncology
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Cancel question please.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Can I please get a reply from an Oncologist?
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.

Hi. My name is***** and I am online and available to help you today. Thank you for your patience.

Question and answer is just one of the services I offer. I can also provide you with additional services, such as live telephone or skype consultation, at a small additional cost. Let me know if you are interested.

How old are you?

Do you have a family history of cancer?

When was your last mamogram and what did it show?

Do you have any other medical problems or take any medications?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. I look forward to helping you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Im 31. I have no family history of cancer of any kind.
My last Ultrasound was 10 months ago. I saw a breast surgeon for something I felt. It ended up being breast tissue. He did 3 ultrasounds and exams. Every 3 months. Last one was February 1. Everything was clear and he doesn't see me anymore.
Im healthy and exercise
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
hello?
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.

Sorry....I'm getting ready to head into the clinic so it has taken me a few moments to reply ;)

I'm glad that your biopsy was normal and everything is looking good. It sounds like you are getting excellent care.

To answer your question:

A otherwise normal woman has a lifetime risk (between birth and age 80) of having breast cancer of about 1 chance in 8 all things considered.

So. What is the take home message?

Continue to routinely examine your breasts as directed by your doctor and you should be fine. There is no need to panic from what you have posted.

Does this make sense to you?

Don't forget to mash the positive feedback button for me...the one labeled "excellent" is the most fun to push by far ;)

It's safe for you to press the positive feedback button now if you so desire. And, never fear, even after you press that button I'll still be right here to continue helping you, but, as I do work for tips, I want to make sure you are happy before rating me.

Dr. Rick MD FACS

Please give my best to your friend

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. So, with my exam and ultrasounds and my age, my risk or chance under 35 is relatively small?
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.

Yup :)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Is BC rare at 31?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Im very worried about it in general
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.

I can tell....but, at this point, I think you would do better to get help with your anxiety over the slight risk to you of breast cancer rather than seek out more screening/evaluation/testing/biopsy of your breasts.

I realize that this was not the answer you were hoping to hear but it would be unfair to you and unprofessional of me were I provide you with anything less than truthful and honest information.

Surely, you prefer that I tell the truth rather than what you wish to hear. Because it reflects very poorly on me unless you press one of the top three feedback choices, keep this in mind when rating my answer and please do not punish me for being honest. I understand that this may not be easy to hear, and I empathize.

Even though my answer was not quite what you were hoping for, please understand that my priority was to provide you with the most honest information. With that in consideration, I hope that you found my answer useful. Please click the excellent feedback button so that I can receive credit for my efforts.

Dr. Rick MD FACS

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I understand, My question is basically, with my already done Ultrasound tests of both breasts every 3 months last year, does that put my in a "safe" zone for a period of time?
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.

It puts you in a safe zone because of your low lifetime risk and the fact that all is well at age 31.

Did I ever mention how fun it is to mash the excellent feedback button? ;)

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. I will rate you. Im just trying to get a clear reply.So is ultrasound good at detecting masses? Should I say I am considered safe from BC until age 35?
Expert:  Dr. Rick, MD replied 1 year ago.

Yes. Ultrasound and mamograms are good when used as indicated.

From what you have posted, you do not have an increased risk of BC...but safe? What is safe? Life entails risks....but in your case? I'd put your BC worries behind you for now

Don't forget to rate :)

Have a Healthy and Happy Turkey day!

Expert:  Dr_Collins replied 1 year ago.

Hi again, thanks for asking me to answer this question.

The risk at age 30 for breast cancer is 1/250. This includes women with risk factors such as a first degree relative with early onset breast cancer. In women without such risk factors, the chance will be lower. I use the Gail Model risk calculator in my practice:

http://www.cancer.gov/bcrisktool/

You can fill in the answers and get an estimate of your own risk within 5 years and lifetime.

I hope when you run the calculations, you'll be reassured. Let me know if I can clarify anything.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. .3 percent and I'm not 35, I just had to enter 35. For sake of the quiz.Thank you. I feel better.
Expert:  Dr_Collins replied 1 year ago.

Right. It gives an option for <35. That's the one to use. So the risk is quite low. Glad that this was reassuring. Anything else about this before you leave a rating for this question?

Expert:  Dr_Collins replied 1 year ago.

If no more follow-up questions for this thread, please leave a rating for my service. As always, I aim for excellent and appreciate your feedback. Thanks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I think that's all. I am just overly worried about it since it hit close to home. But, I do have a small chance overall and shouldn't spend time worrying.
Expert:  Dr_Collins replied 1 year ago.

When things hit close to home, it's a good reminder to live life to the fullest at the moment. And not assume that we have all the time in the world to do what we want to in life. Bad things can happen totally randomly. We can take that information and live with fear or we can take that information and live the best life that we can to have as few regrets as possible. Take it as a wake up call to live the life that you want to live so as to have as few regrets as possible when your time comes. That time may be today or in 40, 50, 60 years in the future. No way of knowing...

Anything else?

Expert:  Dr_Collins replied 1 year ago.

If no more questions, please leave a rating for my service. I aim for excellent and appreciate your feedback. Thanks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dr C, This is just a follow up. Ive sought some help for my anxiety and am trying ERP therapy.
I have a question, for the factual back up.In women my age, 31, with out the history of cancer, or any health issues. Breast Cancer is usually a disease of women in post menopause due to hormone changes? My risk seems very low although still possible
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It only let me assess risk for 35 years of age or older. So I chose 35 with a .3% chance in the next 5 years as a result.
Expert:  Dr_Collins replied 1 year ago.

The incidence of breast cancer increases with age until it hits a peak at age 61 after which it drops again. Usually when women under 40 get breast cancer , it's because of a genetic malformation or strong environmental factor. See attached graph.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for this and replying. I'm going to stop. I have too. This worry isn't healthy and actual chance is quite small
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dr. C,
I am checking y breasts twice a month, sometimes more looking for abnormalities. I know that even a lump doesn't always mean a cancer. Last year, I ended up seeing a breast surgeon that saw me for a full year, every 3 months. He did an exam, taught me how to do an exam with lotion and how to lay down, and also did 3d ultrasounds in both breasts each time.
He said I had easy to see breast tissues, and everything looked good.
Is my self checking causing more harm then good?
Expert:  Dr_Collins replied 1 year ago.

It can for many women. That's why evidence based guidelines don't support women doing breast self exams. It does lead to the risks of intervention and even unnecessary procedures without showing clear benefit in increased diagnosis and survival from breast cancer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. Maybe ill try checking every 2 months. I want to say, Ok, Ive seen a surgeon, I dont need to check until im 35 but I know that's not smart!
Expert:  Dr_Collins replied 1 year ago.

That wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if self-exams tend to increase your anxiety and lead to intervention.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Is it a safe decision vs. risk?
Expert:  Dr_Collins replied 1 year ago.

Yes, it's an decision that is considered safe based on research.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok. The checking does give me anxiety. I mis feel tissue and glands for other things. I rush into the doctor. Its always scary for me
Expert:  Dr_Collins replied 1 year ago.

So you'd be better off not doing it so often. Hope you have a good holiday.

Don't forget to leave a feedback rating for me. I aim for excellent and appreciate your feedback. Thanks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Dr. C,
With a clean pap the last 5 years, and a negative HPV test a year and a half away, what are the chances of cervial cancer?
Expert:  Dr_Collins replied 1 year ago.

Negative predictive value of co-testing is above 99%.