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High Risk Program

Offering high-risk patients critical information and expert advice

Many factors may put you at a higher risk of developing cancer. These include lifestyle factors such as tobacco and alcohol use, being overweight, and sun exposure. Others are less avoidable and include family or personal history of cancer, exposure to viral infections, chemicals, and radiation exposure.

If you are at increased risk of developing cancer, specialists at the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute High Risk Program are available to formulate a personal care plan for proper cancer screening, risk management and ongoing surveillance. We offer expertise in cancer screening, imaging, genetics, oncology, and surgery. Our team will consult with you about your personal and family history and any test results you have (radiology, pathology, genetic testing, etc.), recommend proper examinations and cancer screenings, and help you develop an individualized plan.

Breast Cancer Risks

Having a risk factor, or multiple, does not mean you will get cancer. If you have risk factors, talk to your physician about ways to lower your risk, what follow-up you might need, and if you are a candidate for Northside’s High Risk Program.

Risk Factors You Cannot Change

  • A family history of breast cancer or other cancers, such as:
    • Ovarian cancer
    • Endometrial cancer
    • Prostate cancer
    • Pancreatic cancer
    • Colon cancer
  • Your genetics, including an inherited mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes or other hereditary cancer genes, or being of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
  • Personal history of breast cancer or non-cancerous breast diseases: if you have had breast cancer before you are at a higher risk for developing it again, and certain benign breast conditions carry a higher risk of developing breast cancer (e.g., atypical hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in situ).
  • Dense breasts
  • Radiation exposure to the chest, such as treatment of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, before age 30
  • Your reproductive history, including starting menstruation before age 12 and reaching menopause after age 55, late age at first full-term pregnancy, and low number of full-term pregnancies

Risk Factors You Can Change

  • Use of hormone replacement therapy
  • Not exercising or being physically active
  • Being overweight or obese after menopause
  • Reproductive history (for some people) – first pregnancy after age 30, not breast feeding, never having a full term pregnancy
  • Drinking alcohol – a person’s risk for breast cancer increases the more alcohol they drinks

The High Risk Clinic

Your physician may refer you to the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute High Risk Clinic, led by a team of providers including a dedicated nurse practitioner, surgeons, genetic counselors and oncologists. They work together to provide an evidence-based plan of care, recommend screenings, and follow-up surveillance.

Once an appointment is scheduled, an email will be sent to you to complete a brief online screening form. This will need to be completed before your visit. If you have any difficulty completing the form or accessing it, please arrive 20 minutes prior to your appointment and we will assist you in completing the form.

High Risk Clinic Location:
1100 Johnson Ferry Road NE
Center Pointe II, Suite 350
Atlanta, GA 30342

For more information about our High Risk Program contact us at:
Phone: 404-851-6284
Fax: 404-303-3873
Email: highriskcancer@northside.com