Breast Cancer is the most common cancer in the UK population, representing around 15% of all new cancer cases. A woman born after 1960 and living in the UK has a 1 in 7 lifetime risk of developing breast cancer (the risk for men is 1 in 870).
There is no one cause of breast cancer. Some risk factors are inherited and some are incurred throughout one’s life. Others are present in the environment, although modern life would appear to be increasing the risk of developing breast cancer.
The best and most reliable method of detecting early breast cancer is to use a Digital Mammogram. These deliver very low levels of ionizing radiation which the NHS estimates increases the risk of breast cancer to be 3 – 6 cancers per 10,000 women who are screened every 3 years from 47 to 73. Given that the lifetime risk of developing breast cancer is 1 in 7 it can be seen that the risk of digital mammogram is extremely small compared to the likelihood of early detection.
The digital mammograms have significant advantages over the traditional film mammograms in not only emitting lower radiation but being more sensitive, especially in women with dense breasts and peri-menopausal.