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Breast Cancer Screening and Prevention Program

Breast Cancer Screening and Prevention Program

While all women are at risk for breast cancer, not all women have the same risk. That is why Atlantic Health System offers a comprehensive, long-term surveillance program for women who have been identified as having a higher risk for developing breast cancer. 

Breast Cancer Risk Factors

Factors that impact your breast cancer risk include:

  • Being female
  • Family history of breast or ovarian cancer
  • Advancing age
  • Dense breast tissue (your mammogram will determine if you have dense breast tissue)
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Drinking alcohol regularly
  • Smoking
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Personal or family history of a genetic mutation that puts you at risk for breast cancer
  • History of an abnormal breast biopsy

What type of breast cancer screening is best for me?

Average Risk Women

  • Screening mammogram annually, starting at age 40.
  • Possible screening breast ultrasound in women with dense breasts.
  • All women should be familiar with the look and feel of their breasts, and report any changes to their health care provider.

Higher Risk Women

In addition to regular screening:

  • Screening imaging may begin at a younger age.
  • Discussion of MRI imaging. 
  • Atlantic Health Systemoffers an abbreviated MRI for your convenience.
  • Breast exams by a breast specialist every six to 12 months.
  • Discussion of genetic testing.

What Can I Do If I am High Risk?

Atlantic Health System offers a comprehensive, long-term surveillance program for women who have been identified as having a higher risk for developing breast cancer. Those enrolled receive:

  • Access to board-certified breast surgeons and specialists
  • Informative discussions with a trained nurse navigator
  • Emails and mailings on upcoming breast center events and programs
  • Genetic testing consultation
  • State-of-the-art imaging:
  • Education and instruction on breast self-exam provided by a trained nurse
  • Information on psychosocial services
  • Opportunity for consultation with a nutritionist
  • Reminders about future appointments


Women eligible for our Breast Cancer Screening and Prevention Program must meet one or more of the following criteria, based on American Cancer Society recommendations and current managed care guidelines:

  • Confirmed carrier of breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) or breast cancer gene 2 (BRCA2) mutations
  • Relative who is confirmed carrier of either BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations
  • Male relative with breast cancer
  • Personal risk of 20 percent or more – Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool (Gail Model)
  • One or more relatives with either type of breast cancer or both breast and ovarian cancer
  • Family history of breast or ovarian cancer and Ashkenazi Jewish background
  • Personal or first-degree relative with Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS), Cowden syndrome or Bannayan-Riley-Ruvalcaba syndrome
  • Diagnosis of lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS)
  • History of radiation therapy to the chest between ages 10 and 30

Women with other high risk factors can enroll and participate, but their managed care plans may not cover breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), in which case the patient will be responsible for payment for services. Before enrolling, each patient should discuss her situation with her physician and insurance company.


Eligible patients must first obtain a prescription from their referring physicians for all three tests: digital screening mammography, bilateral ultrasound and bilateral breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Screening ultrasound can be substituted for MRI for patients who have had renal disease or metallic foreign bodies, such as pacemakers. An appropriate International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9) code must be included on the prescription.


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