Prevent Breast Cancer by Recognizing the Risks

Risk FactorsHereditary Breast CancerBreast Cancer Screening GuidelinesTest items
Breast cancer is currently the third leading cancer killer after lung cancer. It is also the most common cancer among women. On average, 1 in 14 Hong Kong women will get breast cancer in their lifetime1. There are about 4,000 new cases of breast cancer in Hong Kong each year, including men and women, and this number is still increasing every year.

  1. Hong Kong Cancer Registry, Hospital Authority (Last updated: Oct 2020)

Risk Factors That We Can Avoid

Risk Factors That We Can Not Avoid

Is Breast Cancer Inherited?

About 5% to 10% of breast cancers are hereditary.2

If you have a breast cancer gene mutation, your chance of getting breast cancer is 10 times higher than the general population.3

  1. Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
  2. Hong Kong Hereditary Breast Cancer Family Registry. Hereditary Cancers.

More Than BRCA Genes

The most common genetic mutations in breast cancer occur in the BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes, but there are other genes associated with breast cancer. When BRCA 1/2 mutates, it increases the risk of breast cancer or other cancers, such as ovarian cancer and prostate cancer.

Not Only Inherited From Mother

BRCA1/2 gene mutation belongs to dominant inheritance and has the opportunity to be inherited from father or mother. Simply put, whether BRCA mutants are male or female, they have a 50% chance of passing on the BRCA mutation to the next generation.

How frequent should I screen for breast cancer?

The frequency of breast cancer screening recommended for each person may not be the same. People with genetic risk of breast cancer should conduct breast cancer screening more frequently than the general public. You can refer to the following recommended procedures issued by the National Comprehensive Cancer Institute (NCCN).

Screening Method Population Risk Hereditary Risk
Clinical Examination Once a year Every 6-12 months
Mammogram Once a year Once a year (or breast MRI scan)
Sonography Screening No related suggestion No related suggestion
Breast MRI Scan No related suggestion Once a year (or mammogram)

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