More women who have risk factors for certain cancers, including breast cancer, could benefit from increased screening and genetic testing, according to new recommendations released last week by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a national group of health care experts, and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
To better serve those who have an increased chance of developing breast cancer, Wake Forest Baptist Health has opened a new high-risk breast cancer clinic, located at Wake Forest Baptist Health – High Point Medical Center’s Hayworth Cancer Center.
The Hayworth Cancer Center is part of Wake Forest Baptist’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.
“Many women have an increased risk of developing breast cancer and do not even know it, so that’s why we encourage everyone to know their family history,” said Akiko Chiba, MD, assistant professor of surgical oncology and director of Wake Forest Baptist’s high-risk breast cancer clinic. “Even though we have provided high-risk breast cancer services for some time as part of our cancer program, this clinic brings together a dedicated team of specialists who work hand-in-hand with each patient, since we know early detection and preventative surgeries save lives.”
Patients receive personalized cancer screenings, genetic counseling and testing, hereditary risk assessments and education from a team of oncology and genetics experts.
According to the National Cancer Institute, the risk of developing breast cancer increases with age; however, research has shown the following risk factors increase the chance of developing the disease:
- Strong family history of breast cancer (especially a cancer diagnosis before age 50)
- Inherited mutations in genes such as BRCA
- Dense breasts
- Radiation therapy to the chest before age 30
- Family history of ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, and advanced prostate cancer
- An abnormal breast biopsy such as atypical ductal hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ
People who think they may be at risk for breast cancer based on their family and personal history, but who have not been screened during a mammogram or a visit to their primary care provider, can call 336-878-6432 in High Point or 336-713-3200 in Winston-Salem for more information.
Joe McCloskey, firstname.lastname@example.org, 336-716-1273
Eryn Johnson, email@example.com, 336-713-8228