The Ultimate Weapon
In Your Fight Against BREAST CANCER.
Dr. Brooks on
Breast cancer is mainly a genetic disease.
FACT: Up to 70% of newly diagnosed breast cancer cases have no identifiable risk factors. Only a very small
percentage of breast cancers are related to identifiable gene
mutations. A mutation in the BRCA-1 or BRCA-2 gene accounts for only 5-10% of breast cancer cases. In addition to family
history, risk factors include being over the age of 50 and
prolonged exposure to estrogen.
A negative mammogram always means everything is fine.
FACT: Mammography detects between
all breast cancers. The addition of sonogram imaging may
increase detection to 85-90%. While the vast majority of
abnormalities are detected by mammography, some are not detectable with imaging exams. Any lump or other change
not interpreted as suspicious by one of these exams may still need physician follow-up.
A family history of breast
cancer on the dad’s side is
not a risk factor.
FACT: It is common belief that family history of breast cancer on the mother’s side is the only determinant of risk.
However, a woman’s father contributes 50% of her genetic makeup. Therefore, if the father’s sisters had breast cancer,
this can be a significant risk factor for his daughters. Also,
other cancers on the father’s or mother’s side — such as
prostate — also can be associated with an increased risk
of a daughter developing breast cancer.
Breast cancer always presents as a lump.
FACT: There can be many warning signs when
performing a monthly self-exam. These include subtle changes such as skin thickening or irritation, change in the nipple or breast skin, nipple discharge (especially if only on one side), tenderness or pain that is new and limited to one side, and lumps under the armpit that persist. If you notice any of these changes, visit your physician for a clinical exam — just to
be on the safe side. Conversely, breast cancer also can be
present without symptoms. That’s why having regular
screening mammograms, in addition to self-exams and
clinical exams, is so important.
Many women don’t realize the strides we’ve made in detecting and treating breast cancer.
FACT: Most breast cancers detected in early stages can be successfully treated. Even women who have aggressive forms of cancer are being treated more successfully every day with new, targeted therapies. Even 20 years ago, the chances of survival for a woman diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer did not nearly approach the 90% or better survival we enjoy today.
Dr. Hannah Brooks
- Breast Specialist
“I’m proud to join the medical staff of St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital, specializing in breast health issues. I’ve cared for women with breast cancer for more than 15 years and know that a woman fighting the disease needs a physician who’s experienced, committed to finding the best treatment options and a true partner on her journey.
Patients can count on me to listen, to provide clear, understandable information, to explore both surgical and nonsurgical alternatives and to always be reachable.
“Patients can count on me to listen ...
“I encourage women to view cancer as a disease – not let it define them as a person. I’ve been involved in groundbreaking research at Sloan Kettering, spent years in private practice and worked at major teaching hospitals in New York City. I’m especially proud to have been the first physician to receive the American Cancer Society’s Lane Adams Award for providing outstanding, compassionate, high-quality care.
“I fell in love with the mid-Hudson region when my daughter went to school here. I’m delighted to now be living full-time in this wonderful and vibrant community, and consider it a privilege to care for friends and neighbors facing breast cancer or other breast health issues. I’m committed to educating our community about breast cancer and to working with my colleagues to provide the finest care possible. To make an appointment at my Cornwall Medical Pavilion office (21 Laurel Avenue), please call
Albany Medical College
Mount Sinai Medical Center
New York Hospital/Cornell
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
NY College of Medicine
Cornell University Medical College
Awards and Honors
American Cancer Society,
American Cancer Society,
National Lane Adams Award
Clifton C. Thorne Award
Long Island College Hospital
North Shore-Long Island Jewish
Catholic Medical Center
American Society of
New York Metropolitan
Dr. Brooks’ work has been published is several medical journals and she regularly conducts continuing medical education presentations for physicians as well as community education programs for the public.