Breast Cancer Risk Assessment

Knowing your risk gives you choices.

For women who have a strong family history of breast cancer, MidState's Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Program (BRCA) can provide the tools to help them make informed decisions to lower their overall risk.

Since cancer is 5-10% hereditary, the focus of our comprehensive Risk Assessment program is on breast cancer prevention. Identifying high-risk patients leads to a lower incidence of cancer, because physicians can work with these patients to take proactive steps towards early detection, such as scheduling mammograms more frequently, or initiating certain medical therapies.

Genetic testing is extremely empowering, because it gives a woman the ability to make decisions that will positively affect her health and gives her a greater sense of control.

Should you choose to undergo genetic testing through MidState, our breast care coordinator will be with you every step of the way to provide ongoing support.

What's your risk?

How does the program work?

Risk assessment begins with an evaluation of personal and family history. This information is entered into a sophisticated computer program that calculates a woman's risk. If, through our program, we discover that your risk of carrying a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation (the hereditary connection to breast cancer) is high, you may decide to undergo genetic testing to see if you actually do have a mutated gene.

Who is at increased risk of having a mutated BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene?

Certain factors increase your risk of having a BRCA mutation. You might be at increased risk of having a BRCA gene change if...

  • You have a personal history of breast cancer
  • You have a family history of breast cancer in two or more close relatives (parents, siblings and children)
  • You have a family history of breast cancer in more than one generation
  • You have a male relative with breast cancer
  • You have a family member who has both breast and ovarian cancers
  • You have a relative who's had a positive BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic test
  • You are of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish ancestry (with or without a family history of breast or ovarian cancer)

Ultimately, the decision to undergo genetic testing is yours to make, but you can be sure that the physicians and staff at our Cancer Center will answer your questions and guide you to making a decision that is best for you.

For more on Risk Assessment and Genetic Testing, contact Kathy Clements, Certified Breast Patient Navigator at 203.694.8463.