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Genetic Risk

Genetic Risk Assessment for Breast Cancer

We are proud to offer genetic risk assessment, an interactive tool for patients who want to determine their risk for breast cancer. The Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool is a computer-based test that provides breast imaging radiologists at SimonMed with valuable information regarding a patient’s lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. It also determines which risk category a patient falls into: low risk, average risk or high risk.

Determining risk

If genetic testing is recommended and ordered by a patient’s primary care physician, a series of personal questions about family history of breast cancer, age of first menstrual cycle and childbearing, and if a breast biopsy has ever been performed, along with other important questions.

This test will also evaluate if there is any mutation in the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2, which also helps provide additional insight on breast cancer risk.

Who’s at risk?

There are several factors, as noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that contribute to a patient’s risk for developing breast cancer. Some of the most common include:


Family history of breast cancer

Patients with dense breasts

Early menstrual cycle

Late or no pregnancy

Previous radiation treatment

Starting menopause after age 55

It’s important to note that not all women who develop breast cancer will have any of these known risk factors.

Screening recommendations

Once the risk for breast cancer is determined, breast imaging radiologists at SimonMed can perform the appropriate screening(s) for a more complete evaluation which allows for increased accuracy with diagnosis.

Often, those who are deemed as high risk will receive additional screening recommendations, mostly based on family history, and will follow different guidelines. Breast imaging radiologists may need to add another screening modality such as breast MRI or breast ultrasound to an annual mammography. These supplemental screenings ensure that cancer is detectable and is not hiding. A breast biopsy may also be performed and sent to a pathologist for further diagnosis and to determine the best, most appropriate treatment plan.

According to the American College of Radiology, cancer is 99.6 percent detectable with a supplemental screening exam, as compared to 88 to 90 percent detectable with just mammography.

Advanced technology

SimonMed offers the latest in screening technology, which helps detect breast cancer at an early stage for greater chances of survival. Offering 3D mammography at most of our outpatient locations, this technology provides additional and more clear breast images as opposed to 2D technology. By using 3D technology, breast cancer detection rates dramatically decrease, making diagnosis much more accurate, allowing for earlier treatment.

A breast MRI utilizes a powerful magnetic field to provide the highest detailed images to the breast imaging radiologist. It also helps to detect breast cancer and determine staging.

A breast ultrasound may be ordered by the referring physician for a screening or diagnostic exam. If a mass is found in the breast, an ultrasound can help determine if the mass is cancer. A breast ultrasound is often used on younger patients as a first step in supplemental breast cancer screening.

Learn more

If you have questions about obtaining your genetic risk for developing breast cancer, or the screening tools we use, please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.


Why Choose Us

SimonMed Imaging and its affiliates have been serving the community for over 30 years. Our mission is to provide best-in class affordable care through the use of advanced technology. We have patient-focused staff and highly trained medical professionals.

SimonMed has over 150 convenient locations across 11 states and provides late night and weekend appointments to accommodate patients.

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