Knowledge is power

You probably know and monitor important health indicators like blood pressure, cholesterol and weight, but do you know your risk for developing breast cancer?

Most patients underestimate their breast cancer risk, and many assume that breast cancer is hereditary. In fact, only 10% of breast cancers fall into that category.

The breast imaging specialists at Baylor Scott & White Health believe that knowledge is power—especially when it comes to breast cancer risk. Being aware of certain key factors in your health history can provide a roadmap to help you and your physician identify your potential for developing breast cancer.

What is high-risk breast cancer screening?

The high-risk breast screening program combines current knowledge about your breast health—screening mammogram, breast self-exam and more—with an in-depth look at your personal health history and that of your family.

This information is matched to predictive risk models developed by the American Cancer Society, National Comprehensive Cancer Network and others.

The goal is to help those patients who are identified as high risk to implement risk-reduction and adjunctive surveillance strategies to enable the earliest diagnosis of breast cancer.

A comprehensive approach to identifying and monitoring risk

Participation in the high-risk breast screening program generally follows an evaluation of a screening mammogram and responses you provided on a questionnaire that we asked you to complete at the time of your mammogram appointment.

If you meet the criteria for participation in the program, a nurse navigator experienced in working with high-risk patients will contact you to coordinate the process under the guidance of a physician specializing in breast imaging.

The high-risk breast screening program includes:

  • A comprehensive assessment of your personal health history and your family history of breast cancer
  • Additional screening tests, if warranted, including ultrasound, MRI and/or specialized screening mammogram with contrast
  • Genetic counseling and education, if appropriate, with a genetic specialist about your risk of developing breast cancer and potential implications for family members
  • A personalized monitoring plan
  • Identification of preventive strategies, if needed
  • Referral to a surgeon, if indicated