The High Risk Program at the Mercy Health Comprehensive Breast Center in Muskegon works together with our MammoPlus® Program, where all of our screening mammography patients receive a digital mammogram plus an NCI Breast Cancer Risk Assessment. (Mercy Health is the only place in the region where a patient can know their lifetime risk for developing breast cancer as part of their mammogram service.)
Patients who meet our MammoPlus risk assessment threshold are contacted by our High Risk Program team to answer their questions about risk and to schedule time to meet with our High Risk Program Coordinator.
Lanae Kelley of Twin Lake, Michigan, came through our MammoPlus program last February and learned that she was considered high-risk for developing breast cancer. Her Primary Care Physician scheduled her with our High Risk Coordinator, Kelly Jensen, PA-C, BS, BSM, MPAS, and through our high risk program, it was confirmed that Kelley was at elevated risk for developing breast cancer on multiple risk factors.
While a risk assessment does not determine which women will actually develop breast cancer in her lifetime, Kelley, 48, learned her options for prevention and chose to have a prophylactic (preventative) double mastectomy and bi-lateral reconstructive surgery. She underwent her first surgery in June and is happy with the results. She received her MammoPlus mammogram, RiskPlus assessment, mastectomy and reconstructive surgery all at Mercy Health, so she never had to leave her community for any portion of her treatment.
Through our RiskPlus program, we assess a patient's risk using state-of-the-art assessment models known as HughesriskApps™, a customized cancer risk assessment software developed at Massachusetts General Hospital. We then develop treatment recommendations for the patient, which may include breast MRI, or preventative medication or surgery.
We offer expertise in performing, assessing and scheduling Breast MRI, which offers additional information for certain patients with a greater lifetime risk. To learn more about Mercy Health Comprehensive Breast Centers, visit www.mercyhealthbreastcare.com
Risk factors you can change:
• Postmenopausal obesity
• Use of combined estrogen and progestin menopausal hormones
• Alcohol consumption
• Physical inactivity
• Some environmental exposures
Risk factors you can't change
• Gender - Simply being a woman is the main risk factor for developing breast cancer. Men can develop breast cancer, but this disease is about 100 times more common among women than men.
• Aging - Your risk of developing breast cancer increases as you get older. About 2 out of 3 invasive breast cancers are found in women age 55 or older.
• Genetic - About 5% to 10% of breast cancer cases are thought to be hereditary, resulting directly from gene defects (called mutations) inherited from a parent.
• BRCA1 and BRCA2 - The most common cause of hereditary breast cancer is an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes. These cancers tend to occur in younger women and are more often bilateral (in both breasts) than cancers in women who are not born with one of these gene mutations. Women with these inherited mutations also have an increased risk for developing other cancers, particularly ovarian cancer.
• Changes in other genes - Other gene mutations can also lead to inherited breast cancers. These gene mutations are much more rare and are not frequent causes of inherited breast cancer.