Breast Cancer Diagnostics
Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer Risk Assessment Program
Our free risk assessment helps patients, families and community residents learn about their level of genetic risk for developing breast cancer and/or ovarian cancer. This risk arises from changes to certain genes inherited from blood relatives.
Women may be concerned about their own, or their children’s, risks. The same genes pose cancer risks to men as well. For those shown to be at high risk due to inherited factors, our program’s nurse genetic counselor and physician may recommend genetic testing.
If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, consider having a cancer risk assessment:
- Do you or any of your blood relatives have a history of breast cancer diagnosed before age 50 (on either your mother's or father's side)?
- Are you or any family member of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish ancestry?
- Were you or any blood relatives diagnosed at any age with ovarian cancer (on either your mother's or father's side)?
- Have you or a blood relative had more than one breast, ovarian, uterine or colon cancer?
What happens in the program?
The nurse genetic counselor reviews your family history and personal health history. You receive a risk assessment, education and information about genetic testing. Counseling is a vital part, with concerns addressed during the risk assessment. Should genetic testing be recommended, the nurse will provide further counseling to discuss medical, social, psychological and other issues.
What does genetic testing look for?
The BRCA genes (BRCA1 and BRCA2) normally play a major role in preventing breast cancer and ovarian cancer. However, if you inherited a mistake (or mutation) on a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene from your mother or father, you are more at risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer.
What happens if a BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutation is found?
The nurse and physician will provide counseling to help you make informed choices. The options for people who test positive are: increased surveillance, using medicines to reduce your risk of getting a cancer, or preventive surgery. The options you choose are very personal. You will receive current information to help you make a decision.
Is there a fee?
There is no charge for the risk assessment and counseling. No doctor referral is needed. The nurse genetic counselor can help with the insurance process for genetic testing
Should those who already had breast or ovarian cancer be tested?
Yes. Finding out whether you test positive or negative for BRCA1 or BRCA2 may be helpful to you and your family. Having an altered gene puts you at increased risk for developing a second breast cancer, ovarian cancer or both.
To find out more:
Call 215-481-2715 to speak with the nurse genetic counselor about risk assessment for breast cancer and ovarian cancer.
Find out about our genetic risk assessment and counseling program for colon (colorectal) cancer, uterine (endometrial) cancer, as well as breast and ovarian cancer.
Learn more about our breast cancer care: