Breast Cancer Risk-tailored Screening and Surveillance

Numerous factors can heighten your risk of developing breast cancer. Being female and older than 50 are two of the most significant reasons. You may also be at risk if you are a cancer survivor or had previous radiation. A family history of certain cancers and inherited gene mutations can also be contributors. Other at-risk factors include being overweight, daily alcohol consumption, hormone use and some benign breast abnormalities. Learn about risk factors for breast cancer.

If you’re concerned or have been told that you may be at higher risk for breast cancer because of these or other factors, the Breast Cancer Personalized Risk Assessment, Education and Prevention (B-PREP) Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital can help. Our breast cancer specialists will design a specialized screening program just for you – based on your particular risk level. We will be by your side throughout the process.

This personalized plan includes a range of services:

Our multidisciplinary teams of breast disease specialists include surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, pathologists and radiation oncologists who will explain diagnostic procedures and potential treatments, as well as geneticists and psycho-social experts who will support you and your family.

Breast Cancer Risk-tailored Screening

Breast examinations, mammography and other imaging tests are important tools in detecting breast cancer. Your B-PREP physician or nurse will educate you about breast health and conduct a physical exam. Screening tests include:

Breast Exams

  • Breast self-examination
  • Clinical breast examination

Breast Imaging It may be recommended that you have imaging tests of your breasts. These can be done in cooperation with your primary caregiver at a site near your home. Brigham and Women’s Hospital offers state-of-the-art imaging by radiologists who specialize exclusively in breast cancer at many BWH breast imaging locations:

  • Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston
  • Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in Boston
  • Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital in Jamaica Plain
  • Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center in clinical affiliation with South Shore Hospital in Weymouth
  • Brigham and Women’s Health Care Center in Chestnut Hill
  • Brigham and Women’s/Mass General Health Care Center in Foxborough

At all of these locations, breast imaging specialists use advanced diagnostic technology including 3D mammography, also known as digital breast tomosynthesis.

If imaging tests identify suspicious areas, we will address them quickly. At Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital and its affiliated location at South Shore Hospital, we have the resources and expertise to handle every aspect of your breast care.

Breast Cancer Risk Surveillance Plan

We will work with you and your health care providers to devise the best long-term approach to manage your risk of developing breast cancer in the future.

Part of your surveillance plan will include screening tests performed at intervals specific to your level of risk. Our radiologists and imaging specialists provide the full range of breast cancer screening services:

Learn about recommended breast cancer screening for women at higher risk.


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