When you’re a woman, there are a number of female specific health problems that you are likely to find yourself at risk for over the course of your life, from reproductive concerns to breast cancer. Fortunately, medicine has advanced to provide the tools for early detection as well as treatment for such potential problems. From getting breast biopsy procedure results to mammogram results, we know more about viewing the human body – and any potential threats that lie inside of it – better than we have ever known before.

Breast cancer poses a particular risk to women, with one out of every eight women diagnosed with some stage of breast cancer throughout the course of her life. This means that each and every woman in otherwise good health will have a more than 12% risk of breast cancer. For some women with specific genetic markers and a family history of breast cancer spanning through many years, the risk of breast cancer can become even more elevated. In fact, the risk of breast cancer for such women who have a first degree relative that has been diagnosed with breast cancer can more than double their risk levels, meaning that they will need to be more on the lookout for changes in their breast tissue and other such signs of breast cancer than just about anyone else.

The risk of breast cancer also increases with age, as young women are not particularly likely to contract the disease (unless, of course, they have some sort of family history surrounding it). In fact, once a woman of relatively low breast cancer risk reaches her forties, it is typically recommended that she begin to get yearly mammograms in order to increase the chance that, if breast cancer ever develops, it will be easily detected – and detected early on in the game as well. In fact, mammograms save lives, particularly among women who are between the ages of 60 and 69. All in all, simply getting a mammogram every year once it has been recommended by your doctor can actually reduce your risk of dying from breast cancer by as much as 40% – and typically by no less than 20%, which is certainly far better than nothing.

If something suspicious is noted by your doctor, a breast biopsy might be conducted. Waiting on breast biopsy procedure results can be nerve wracking, to say the least, even if it is likely for these breast biopsy procedure results to come back as benign. Waiting for the breast biopsy procedure results is likely to be best when you have a good relationship with your doctor, a doctor that you trust will be able to thoroughly and comprehensively explain the breast biopsy procedure results to you in a way that is a clear and easy to understand as is possible, particularly if you are confused as to what the breast biopsy procedure results might mean in the first place.

Before it gets to the point of needing to hear your breast biopsy procedure results and the like, there are a number of steps you can take to lower your risk of breast cancer, particularly as you reach more advanced ages. For instance, regular physical activity and exercise can lower your risk of developing breast cancer by as much as 20% – and typically by no less than 10%, an already impressive percentage of lowered risk. For many people, even just walking regularly and getting enough steps in can help to make this a reality. And staying at a lower weight will help to keep your breast cancer risk down, as overweight and obese women who are past menopause have a nearly doubled risk of breast cancer overall due to the relatively high estrogen levels that can be found in most fat tissue in overweight and obese women.

Staying on top of your health with regular breast examinations can save your life as well. While dense breast tissue isn’t uncommon and is most likely benign, it’s still a good idea to have it looked at by your doctor, just in case it’s a much more serious concern.