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UCLA Breast Center

Revlon/UCLA Breast Center: Westwood Location, 200 UCLA Medical Plaza, Los Angeles

High Risk Program

The Breast Cancer High Risk Program at the UCLA Breast Center was established in 1994 to provide structured surveillance and education for women who are at increased risk for breast cancer. The High Risk Program at the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center addresses the concerns of women who:

  • have a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter, father) with a diagnosis of breast and/or ovarian cancer, and/or those who have multiple family members with breast and/or ovarian cancer.
  • have had a breast biopsy with pathology showing atypical cells, or lobular carcinoma in situ.
  • have a known genetic mutation predisposing to breast cancer development.
  • have history of chest radiation for lymphoma.

The High Risk Program provides women with an in-depth evaluation, incorporating individually tailored counseling in genetics, nutrition, exercise, psychological issues and stress reduction. It also gives women access to clinical trials for breast cancer prevention and newest information regarding breast cancer prevention.

What kind of evaluation to expect

The new appointment at the High Risk Program is comprehensive and lasts approximately two to three hours. The amount of time spent with each specialist varies based on individual's personal history and associated risk.

  • A medical doctor will meet you and explain the program, take a complete history and perform a breast exam. At the conclusion of the consultation, the doctor will provide the patient with a plan of follow-up care. If any diagnostic tests such as a mammogram, ultrasound or MRI are needed, they will be ordered on the same day of the patient's visit. Some tests may be performed on the same day, and others may need to be scheduled on a different day depending on the availability of the study and the need for the insurance authorization.
  • A physician specialized in cancer prevention will discuss and emphasize preventative measures such as diet and lifestyle to lower one's breast cancer risk. Research has shown that diet and lifestyle affect all aspects of a woman's health, including her risk for developing breast cancer.
  • A genetic counselor will provide education and counseling to women who have a family history of breast cancer by using risk assessment models to determine risk level. The risks for breast cancer and how to reduce these risks are also topics discussed during the counseling. Each woman is given an individualized "riskometer" that provides an overview of her estimated risk based on her history.
  • A psychologist will discuss emotional aspects of being high risk, and about coping with illness and loss of family members who were diagnosed with breast cancer.
  • When appropriate, various preventive interventions will also be discussed by the clinicians.

At the end of the encounter one will learn the recommendations for surveillance, risk reduction intervention and a healthier life style and will have psychological guidance.

Partners in Health

Follow-up appointments will be tailored according to the clinical assessment of each woman's risk condition.

If a woman is referred by her primary care physician, follow-up will be planned jointly with her doctor's input. Some will be followed regularly at the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center and others will continue their breast care with their regular physicians after the first visit.

Through open communication and education, team members of the High Risk Program become health partners with women at increased risk for breast cancer, providing them with tools to live with reduced risks, less fear and more knowledge.

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