What is a contralateral breast cancer?
A contralateral breast cancer is a new cancer that occurs in the breast opposite to the one you already had breast cancer in. A contralateral breast cancer is not considered a recurring cancer. A breast cancer recurrence happens when the same cancer comes back in the same breast (local recurrence) or in nearby lymph nodes (regional recurrence).
Why does my Estrogen Receptor matter?
Your estrogen receptor, just like your age at diagnosis, plays a big role in your risk of getting a contralateral breast cancer. For example, a woman age 40-45 at diagnosis with an estrogen positive (ER +) receptor has a 4.8% chance of getting a contralateral cancer in her opposite breast within 20 years of her diagnosis. If this woman had an estrogen negative (ER -) receptor instead, her chances would more than double to 10.6%.
How can I lower my risk of contralateral cancer?
There are many things you can do to manage and decrease your risk, not just for a contralateral breast cancer but for breast cancer in general. Did you know that only 15% of those diagnosed have a single relative with breast cancer? For most women, family history and genetics do not determine who gets breast cancer – they do. In her book, Breasts: The Owner’s Manual, Dr. Kristi Funk takes the broader conversation about total breast health and risk reduction to women everywhere with a straight-talking and easy-to-understand guide.