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High Risk Cancer Program

The High Risk Breast Program is designed to identify patients at increased risk of breast cancer. The goal of the High Risk Breast Program is to educate you about your risk for breast cancer and whether additional tests or visits in the clinic are recommended, or if you can be reassured that your risk of breast cancer is not greater than the general population.

We believe that through education and research, we can empower women to feel more comfortable about their breast health and be proactive for their overall health.

Our Clinical Nurse Specialist
Our High Risk Breast Program provider Claire Sutherby, MSN, RN, AGCNS-BC, CMSRN, OCN provides genetic risk evaluation, screening and preventive options for individuals at increased lifetime risk of breast cancer. Each women’s risk of developing breast cancer is different and depends on her personal and family health history, as well as lifestyle. 

Our goal is to support you, while identifying both your short term and lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. It is important to know your risk reduction options in order to make an informed decision regarding your breast health. 

The benefits of a dedicated High Risk Breast Program include:
  • Comprehensive risk assessments using validated tools
  • Recommendations provided are based on evidence through National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) 
  • Provide mechanism for monitoring compliance of breast imaging
  • Genetic evaluation and testing for patients who qualify 
  • Management of risk reducing medications for those who qualify
  • Patient education
According to the National Cancer Institute, the risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. However, research has shown the following risk factors increase the chance of developing breast cancer:
  • Strong family history of breast cancer (mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, daughter, etc.)
  • Personal or family history of ovarian cancer 
  • A blood relative with a known concerning change/mutation in a gene associated with increased breast cancer risk
  • Breast cancer diagnosed in any blood related male relative
  • Abnormal breast biopsy such as atypical ductal hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ
  • Radiation therapy to the chest before the age of 30
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
  • Dense breast(s) on a mammography
What to Expect
During your first visit you will meet with our High Risk Breast provider, Claire Sutherby, who will review your personal and family health history, prior breast imaging and perform a clinical breast exam. Using this information, she will estimate your risk by utilizing validated risk assessment calculators.  She will then educate you regarding ways to potentially reduce your risk of breast cancer. 

If you are identified to be at an increased risk for breast cancer, a surveillance plan will be tailored specifically for you based on the latest evidence-based practice in breast cancer risk, prevention, and treatment. She will communicate her recommendations to your health care provider/team, so they can be part of the team monitoring your breast health.
During your visit, your breast health evaluation may include:
  • Review of personal and family history of cancer
  • Review of mammograms and other breast imaging studies
  • A clinical breast exam
  • Risk model assessments to estimate your five year and lifetime risk of breast cancer
  • Orders placed for screening tests as appropriate (mammography, breast ultrasound, MRI)
  • Personalized surveillance and screening plan
  • Strategies to reduce breast cancer risk including counseling on lifestyle modifications
  • Patient education materials 
  • If indicated, you may receive a referral to the following specialists.
    - Breast Surgeon for a discussion about risk-reduction surgery
    - Gynecologic Oncologist for a discussion about risk-reduction surgery
    - Medical Oncology for a discussion on chemoprevention
    - Genetic Counseling
How to prepare for your visit:
  • Let us know if you have had any breast imaging in the past, and if that was performed at an outside facility. 
  • Provide information about prior breast biopsies or surgeries if applicable.
  • Bring genetic testing results for you or family members if applicable.
  • Obtain information about your family's health history, especially history of any type of cancer and age at diagnosis. 
Do I qualify for an evaluation in the High Risk Breast Program?
If you have any of the risk factors mentioned, you may be at an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Talk with your health care team to discuss a referral to the High Risk Breast Program. 

For more information, please contact 812-858-2273
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