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Breast Conditions

Surgical and Treatment Options

Breast Cancer Risk Assessment, Education and Genetic Counseling

Breast cancer that is found and addressed early has the best chance for successful treatment. If you are concerned about changes in your breasts or want to learn more about your risk of developing breast cancer due to personal or family history, the Breast Cancer Personalized Risk Assessment, Education and Prevention (B-PREP) Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital provides a full spectrum of services. We offer a comprehensive assessment program for all patients that includes a risk survey and an in-person consultation and examination, as well as referrals for breast imaging and genetic counseling if necessary.

Risk Assessment, Education and Genetic Counseling Topics

Breast Cancer Risk Assessment

Our multi-phased approach begins with an easy-to-fill-out breast cancer risk assessment survey that calculates risk through a series of questions about your personal background and family history. You will complete this survey electronically at your scheduled visit.

The survey addresses:

  • Personal medical history
  • Family history
  • Reproductive history
  • Lifestyle habits, including diet and exercise
  • Hormone use

Results of this questionnaire are tabulated by specialized software and analyzed by your team of breast cancer specialists who will discuss the findings with you in person. You will learn about your level of risk and how it impacts choices about your health.

Next-step recommendations may involve:

If it is determined that you are at an increased risk for developing breast cancer, we will invite you to take part in an in-depth screening program tailored just for you. Learn more about our breast cancer risk-tailored screenings.

Women who discover that they are not at increased risk following our initial assessment will return to their healthcare providers reassured and better educated about breast health.

Breast Cancer Education

Your doctors and healthcare professionals in the B-PREP Program will educate you about breast cancer and the many variables that affect your risk of developing the disease. They will talk to you about:

  • Healthy lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise
  • Medications to reduce breast cancer
  • Effective self-examination techniques
  • Genetic counseling and testing
  • Accessing psychologists and social workers trained in working with at-risk cancer patients
  • Accessing clinical trials
  • Accessing services for medical conditions that increase your risk, such as the Center for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery for obese patients
  • Accessing complementary therapies through the Leonard Zakim Center for Integrative Therapies and the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at BWH.

If appropriate, our breast specialists will discuss medications that reduce the risk of breast cancer as well as risk-reducing surgeries such as prophylactic mastectomy.

BRIGHAM AND WOMEN’S FAULKNER HOSPITAL


Offering comprehensive medical, surgical and psychiatric care as well as complete emergency, ambulatory and diagnostic services to residents of southwest Boston and the surrounding suburbs.

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