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Breast Cancer

Scared and need help

09/24/2009

Question:

My birth mother had both breast removed due to having breast cancer. I am 30 years old and doctors tell me that there is nothing to worry about at my age and it is too soon for the mammogram. If that is so, then what is early detection? For the last two weeks my breast have been hurting very bad and now my right one has a yellow discharge coming from it, is this something that I should be worried about?

Answer:

When you should start screening depends on how old your birth mother was when she had her cancer.  I usually recommend that women start to have mammograms about 5-10 years before the earliest diagnosis in the family or by age 40, whichever is earlier. In addition, your doctor should perform a breast exam one to two times per year.  I tell women to do self breast exams as well, although it does not necessarily improve outcomes from breast cancer. Yellow discharge and pain is most likely not something to be worried about. 

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Response by:

Doreen M Agnese, MD Doreen M Agnese, MD
Clinical Associate Professor of Surgery
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University