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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Breast Cancer in the Family
November 2003

Q. My 29-year-old daughter who is a mother of three, has been scheduled for surgery. She is diagnosed with papillomas and severe breast calcification. Can this turn into cancer? I had to have a bilateral mastectomy due to lobular carcinoma. There are 9 members in our family with breast cancer. Can you give us any advice?

A. The high number of breast cancer cases in your family is of great concern. I assume the current planned surgery is to determine if cancer is present. Calcium deposits in the breast can be benign, but their presence usually leads to further testing as is being done.

Breast cancer is the leading cancer among women (other than skin cancer), and about 200,000 new cases occur yearly in the U.S. It primarily affects women over age 50, and rarely occurs in women under age 35. The planned procedure will hopefully clarify matters in your daughter's case.



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