Breast Cancer Specialist

Rockville Gynecology

Women's Health Clinic located in Rockville, MD

Breast cancer affects one in eight women during their lifetime, but breast cancer prevention and early detection save lives. At Rockville Gynecology, Carolynn Young, MD, and Astrid Von Walter, MD, assess your risk and screen you for breast cancer to detect it early and increase your risk of survival if you have the disease. Call their Rockville, Maryland, office to learn more about breast cancer screening or schedule an appointment online today.

Breast Cancer Q & A

What is breast cancer?

Breast cancer is abnormal cells that form in breast tissue. It’s the second most common cancer diagnosed in the United States after skin cancer. 

Breast cancer screening, early detection, a better understanding of the disease, and a personalized approach to treatment are the keys to breast cancer survival.


What are the risk factors for breast cancer?

The cause of breast cancer isn’t entirely understood but there are numerous factors that increase your risk, such as:

  • Increased age
  • Genetics or family history of breast cancer
  • Having BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes
  • Beginning your first period before age 12
  • Going through menopause after age 55
  • Obesity
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Not having children until after age 35
  • Having dense breast tissue

Breast cancer is likely caused by complex interactions of the environment and your genetic makeup.


What are the symptoms of breast cancer?

If you experience the following signs or symptoms of breast cancer, see your doctor immediately to get screened for the disease:

  • A lump in your breast
  • Thickening of breast tissue
  • Changes in the shape, size or appearance of breasts
  • An inverted nipple
  • Breast dimpling or pitting
  • Crusting, peeling, or flaking of the areola
  • Redness of skin covering breasts

You should complete monthly self-breast exams to detect lumps or other breast abnormalities.


How is breast cancer detected and treated?

At Rockville Gynecology, the experienced providers believe in the power of prevention. Your doctor thoroughly reviews your medical and family history and cancer risk factors to determine if you’re a good candidate for breast cancer tests, such as:

  • Gene mutations (including BRCA gene mutation testing using myRisk™ or Invitae, which is done with a simple blood test drawn)
  • BrevagenPlus™, which is a cheek swab that assesses your DNA and breast cancer risk
  • Mammograms to detect breast cancer early, when it’s most treatable

When a self-exam reveals a breast abnormality, alert your doctor immediately. If you have breast cancer, removing cancerous tissue can prevent it from spreading to other areas of your body and increase your chances of surviving the disease.

You may also require chemotherapy, radiation therapy, hormone therapy, or targeted therapy utilizing substances that attack cancer cells without harming surrounding tissues.

Don’t wait until breast cancer progresses to a terminal stage. Be proactive with early risk assessments and detection, as breast cancer is treatable in the early stages. Call Rockville Gynecology to schedule breast cancer screening or book an appointment online today.