Prevention & Early Detection

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Preventing Breast and Ovarian Cancers

Breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women, after skin cancer. Many factors may increase a woman’s risk of developing this disease—and, in some cases, ovarian cancer, too. There are also many things a woman can do to decrease her risk. At Seattle Cancer Care Alliance (SCCA), we offer women who are at increased risk two specialty clinics, the Reduce Your Risk Clinic and the Breast & Ovarian Cancer Prevention Program, to assess their risk for breast and ovarian cancer and provide information on the steps they can take to reduce their risk. To find out which clinic is right for you and to schedule an appointment, call (206) 288-7222.

Reduce Your Risk Clinic

You are a candidate for the Reduce Your Risk Clinic if:

  • You have had a breast biopsy that showed increased risk of breast cancer, such as atypical hyperplasia (ADH/ALH) or lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS).
  • You have had noninvasive breast cancer (DCIS) that has been treated with surgery, radiation therapy, or both.
  • You have high mammographic breast density.
  • You had radiation therapy to the chest wall or whole body before the age of 40.
  • You have a family history of breast cancer (especially in a first-degree relative—your mother, sister, or daughter).

During your visit to the clinic, we will provide you with an individual assessment of your risk of developing breast cancer. You will learn about breast cancer risk factors and how they affect you, which screening tests are right for you, lifestyle and nutrition options you can consider to reduce your risk for breast cancer and maximize your health, chemoprevention options (taking medication to reduce your risk), and clinical studies that may help you reduce your risk.

Breast & Ovarian Cancer Prevention Program

The Breast & Ovarian Cancer Prevention Program (BOCPP) is for women with a very strong risk for breast cancer or ovarian cancer. You may be at high risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer if:

  • You have a strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer, such as:
    • Two or more relatives on the same side of your family have had breast or ovarian cancer, especially if the breast cancer was diagnosed before the age of 40.
    • A relative had cancer in both breasts.
    • A relative had both breast and ovarian cancer.
    • Male relatives have had breast cancer.
  • You had an abnormal result on your BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic test.
  • You have Lynch syndrome or another genetic abnormality that is associated with breast cancer, ovarian cancer or both.

At this clinic, we provide a personalized approach to cancer risk assessment, prevention, and screening, including an evaluation and a discussion of your individual breast and ovarian cancer risk.

Prevention Plan

The BOCPP team is made up of breast and ovarian cancer experts, including a medical oncologist, a genetic counselor, a nutritionist, and a gynecologic oncologist. You’ll receive information about hereditary and nonhereditary breast and ovarian cancer risk factors and strategies for risk reduction. The team will help you develop a comprehensive, personalized plan to try to prevent cancer from occurring and increase the likelihood of detecting it early, if it does occur. Your plan may include chemoprevention; screening with physical exams, blood tests, and imaging (like mammograms, ultrasounds, or magnetic resonance imaging, MRI); risk-reducing surgery; and new technologies and developments. If you are interested, there may be research studies you can participate in as well.

What’s the Difference?

The clinic that’s right for you depends on your medical history and your family’s cancer history. Our intake staff can help you determine which clinic best fits your needs. To learn more or schedule an appointment, call (206) 288-7222.