Multigenerational Asian women, stock photo

Help for Patients & Families at an Increased Risk for Breast or Ovarian Cancer Due to Genetic Factors

Inherited forms of breast and ovarian cancer are caused by mutations in several different genes. For example:
  • BRCA1
  • BRCA2
  • PALB2
  • TP53
  • PTEN

Women who inherit a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2 have an increased risk of getting breast or ovarian cancer at an early age, developing breast cancer in both breasts and/or developing more than one type of cancer during their lifetime. Men who inherit these mutations have a higher risk for developing breast and other cancers.

The Society of Gynecologic Oncology recommends that all women who have a diagnosis of ovarian/fallopian tube cancer undergo genetic counseling and testing. The goal of risk assessment is to prevent cancer either through a surgical procedure or chemoprevention medications, or to detect it at an early stage.

Our Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk and Prevention Clinic offers personalized risk assessment and prevention recommendations for patients and families who may be at increased risk for developing breast and/or ovarian cancer due to genetic factors. Our services include:

  • Breast and ovarian cancer risk assessment and genetic testing
  • Cancer prevention counseling and strategies
  • High risk breast cancer screening and surveillance, including breast MRI
  • Ovarian cancer screening and prevention
  • Coordinated care for individuals with an inherited mutation that increases the risk of breast, ovarian and/or other cancers

Assessing Risk 

Evaluation and risk assessment are offered for individuals or families who have the following in their medical history:

A personal history of:

  • Early onset breast cancer (before the age of 50; or if type of breast cancer is triple negative, than before the age of 60)
  • Bilateral breast cancer
  • Breast and ovarian, thyroid or endometrial cancer
  • Male breast cancer
  • Ovarian or fallopian tube cancer
  • Breast and/or ovarian cancer and ethnic background with an increased risk of inherited forms of breast cancer (for example, Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry)

A family history of:

  • Two or more close relatives with breast and/or ovarian cancer and/or pancreatic cancer and/or aggressive prostate cancer

Breast & Ovarian Cancer Risk & Prevention Physician Team

Stacy Lindau, MD, talking with a patient

Program in Integrative Sexual Medicine (PRISM) for Women & Girls with Cancer