High Risk Screening for Breast Cancer - PIH Health

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Published on October 07, 2020

High Risk Screening for Breast Cancer

Illustration of three pink colored human figures with ribbons over their hearts while holding hands

Illustration of three pink colored human figures with ribbons over their hearts while holding handsOne in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime—but some women have higher risk, based on certain factors like personal or family history, gene mutations, specific syndromes and exposure to radiation therapy at a young age.

Regardless of a woman’s breast cancer risk, PIH Health is committed to early detection and doing everything possible to ensure the best outcome. That includes identifying higher risk women through PIH Health’s High-Risk Screening Program.

Here’s how it works: Whether a woman checks in for her annual screening mammogram or any imaging exams related to the breast, she is given a questionnaire that helps to identify if there is an elevated risk for breast cancer. If deemed a higher-than-average risk, she will receive information to speak to a specialist about the findings.

“Routine breast cancer screening is important for all women, but even more so for those at higher than average risk,” said Courtney Vito MD, PIH Health Breast Surgical Oncologist. “If breast cancer is found, we have a multidisciplinary team that collaborates between departments, discusses cases at the PIH Health tumor board (a group of physicians who specialize in cancer care and meet to discuss the best individualized approach to care), and delivers personalized care that’s tailored to each patient’s wishes, needs and personal situations.”

If a woman is notified that she is a higher-than-average risk, she is encouraged to call and schedule a consultation where we will provide information on risk reduction strategies, such as lifestyle changes, medications, surgical options and additional screening methods like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness month, there’s no time like the present to focus on your breast health and schedule an annual screening mammogram. PIH Health recommends annual screening for breast cancer beginning at age 40.

To learn more about the PIH Health Breast Center’s high-risk screening program for breast cancer, call 562.907.0667 or visit PIHHealth.org/Mammogram.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

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