Breast Center of New England calculates a Tyrer-Cuzick risk score for every mammography patient. Elevated scores (for women who have an estimated risk greater than 20%) are included on mammography reports.

If your family has a history of breast or ovarian cancer, genetic testing to determine your individual cancer risk may be useful. Breast Center of New England is proud to offer quick, easy and comprehensive testing to identify genes which may increase your risk of developing cancer. The cost of this testing is covered by many insurance companies. Knowing if you are at increased risk for developing cancer can be useful for obtaining additional screening or other medical services.

Risk assessment also involves knowing your personal breast density. Breasts are composed of fat, fibrous (connective/supportive) tissue, and glandular tissue (the stuff that makes milk and carries it to the nipple). A “dense” mammogram is one with a lot of fibrous or glandular tissue and less fat. When a radiologist is reading a mammogram, they must make a determination regarding how dense a woman’s breasts are. This is important because, on a mammogram, dense tissue is white, and masses are also white. Normal dense breast tissue can actually hide masses on a mammogram.

Breast Center of New England can provide you with both your breast density and your estimated risk of developing breast cancer so you will have a better idea if additional testing is right for you.

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Genetic testing for hereditary cancer risk