El Camino Hospital, Mountain View, Calif, introduces its comprehensive high-risk breast program, the only such program in Northern California.

The program, a collaboration between the Women’s Hospital, Genomic Medicine Institute, Cancer Center and Imaging Services, aims to identify women who are at high risk for developing breast cancer at some point in their lifetime and help them manage their risk or the resulting diagnosis.

"Approximately 3-6% of the mammography populatio –who have no history of cancer–fall into the high risk category," said Michele Van Zuiden, executive director, Women’s Hospital. "This comprehensive offering will allow us to help our patients assess and understand their lifetime risk and then make informed choices about further testing, diagnosis, risk reduction strategies, and treatment options."

All identified high-risk women will be contacted by a nurse within a week after the test to discuss additional screening options such as genetic counseling and BRCA testing.

[SEE THIS RELATED ITEM IN CLP‘S NEWS ARCHIVES: [removed]A Northern California County’s High Breast Cancer Rate May be Tied to Genetics[/removed]]

The first component of the program is a risk assessment tool offered to all Breast Health Center mammogram patients and completed via tablet while they wait for their appointment. The results, along with their mammogram results, are shared with patients and with the patient’s referring physician.  The Breast Health Center also recently adopted Volpara, breast density measurement software, which helps radiologists assess breast density more objectively and determine who might benefit from additional screening.

Another key component of the program is the use of advanced diagnostic equipment, including a powerful breast MRI and a new 3-D breast ultrasound.

[Source: El Camino Hospital]