While simply being female puts you at risk for breast cancer, “the vast majority of U.S. women are never going to have breast cancer,” assures Dr. Lehman. Still, you are at substantially higher risk if two of your family members (like your mom and sister) developed breast cancer before menopause. You’re also at a greater risk if you have the BCRA 1 or 2 gene, sometimes call the “breast gene.” To determine if you have the BRCA gene, you’ll need to undergo genetic testing.
“We want to identify those women because they should have a mammogram and an MRI every year,” says Dr. Lehman. (MRIs use a special IV fluid to highlight tumors and provide more detailed views of the breast than mammograms.) Find out if you’re in the high-risk category by taking the National Cancer Institute's Breast Cancer Assessment Tool, a 10-question screening test.