Assessment and Therapy to Reduce Breast Cancer

Whether it’s an abnormal breast biopsy, dense breast or a family history of breast and ovarian cancer, some women choose to go beyond the annual mammogram.

A risk assessment for breast cancer performed at Meritus Center for Breast Health can offer women:

  • Counseling and education on breast cancer
  • Breast cancer risk assessment
  • A personalized screening and prevention plan
  • BRCA testing
  • Options for prevention and reducing cancer risk
  • A referral for genetic counseling

Risk-reduction strategies

Breast cancer risk assessment tools such as the Gail model or the Tyrer-Cuzik model calculate a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. Using these risk assessment tools, Alan Wan, D.O., oncologist and Kristy Hose, CRNP, look at certain thresholds to determine whether intervention to prevent breast cancer is needed.

Dr. Wan collaborates with oncologists at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Cancer Center to discuss high-risk patients and breast cancer risk reduction strategies. Tamoxifen, a preventative therapy medication, can be used in women at high risk of developing breast cancer. The pill blocks the effects of estrogen which can affect the growth of breast tumors.

“Risk reduction therapy can have a significant impact on reducing the incidence of breast cancer,” says Dr. Wan.

Dr. Wan and Kristy also spend time with women discussing risk elevating and risk lowering factors such as birth control, hormone therapy, weight control, alcohol consumption, diet and exercise.

After a breast cancer diagnosis

The risk assessment program also helps women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and want to understand their risk of a BRCA gene mutation and whether it may be passed on in a family. A risk assessment can also guide women when making surgical decisions to reduce cancer risk.

For women concerned about their risk for developing breast cancer, expert advice and help is available close to home. To schedule an appointment or learn more about Meritus Center for Breast Health risk assessment program, call 301-665-4780.