Established in 1994, the Breast Cancer High Risk Clinic at the UCLA Breast Center continues to provide structured surveillance and education for women who are at increased risk for breast cancer. The High Risk Clinic at the Revlon/UCLA Breast Center addresses the concerns of women who:
- have a first-degree relative (e.g., mother, father, sister, daughter) with a diagnosis of breast and/or ovarian cancer.
- 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 them to breast cancer development.
- have a history of chest radiation for lymphoma.
The High Risk Clinic provides women with an in-depth evaluation, incorporating individually tailored counseling in genetics, nutrition, exercise, psychological issues and stress management. It also gives women the opportunity to learn about medicines that lower the risk of breast cancer and provides them with the latest information on risk-reducing prophylactic mastectomies.
What kind of evaluation to expect
A first-time appointment at the High Risk Clinic is comprehensive and lasts approximately two to three hours. The amount of time spent with each specialist varies based on the individual's personal history and associated risk. Please download and complete our patient questionnaire before your appointment.
- A medical doctor will meet the woman to 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 insurance authorization.
- A physician specialized in cancer prevention will discuss and emphasize preventive measures, such as diet and lifestyle, that can 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 each woman’s risk level. Breast cancer risk and ways to reduce these risks are also discussed during the counseling session. Each woman is provided a detailed overview of her estimated risk based on her history
- A psychologist will discuss the psychological impact of being high risk, as well as how to cope with illness and loss of family members who were diagnosed with cancer.
- When appropriate, a clinician will also discuss various preventive interventions.
By the end of the encounter, each woman gains a thorough understanding of what it means to be high risk through personalized discussions on the genetic and lifestyle variables that affect high risk women and the emotional impact of a high-risk designation. Individuals also receive cancer prevention education with surveillance recommendations, risk reduction interventions and information on how to lead a healthier life style.