High Risk Program

Offering high-risk patients critical information and expert advice

Many things may put you at a higher risk of developing cancer. These include lifestyle factors such as tobacco and alcohol use, being overweight, dietary habits, 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 listen to your concerns and formulate a personal care plan for proper cancer screening, risk management, and ongoing surveillance.

Breast Cancer Risks

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

The High Risk Program sees patients with the following risk factors:

  • Greater than 20% calculated lifetime breast cancer risk based on your risk assessment 
  • Strong family history of breast or ovarian cancer
  • Known genetic mutation (i.e. BRCA1, BRCA2, CHEK2, PALB2, others)
  • History of abnormal breast biopsy (i.e. ADH, ALH, LCIS)
  • Previous radiation to the chest area between ages 10-30 years
  • Other risk factors as identified by referring provider 

      The High Risk Clinic

      Your physician may refer you to the Northside Hospital Cancer Institute High Risk Clinic where we offer specialized care for patients who might have an elevated risk of cancer. During your visit, we empower you to manage your risk of developing cancer through prevention and early detection. Your plan of care may recommend enhanced cancer screenings, genetic testing, or lifestyle changes, along with regular follow-ups. Our team of compassionate and qualified specialists include dedicated nurse practitioners, genetic counselors, and a registered dietitian. 

      Services Provided: 

      • Assessment of breast and ovarian cancer risk 
      • Coordination of genetic testing and/or imaging studies as needed 
      • Physical assessment and clinical breast exam
      • A personalized plan of care for the patient which may include:
        • Recommended screening studies (mammogram/Breast MRI, other)
        • Consideration of risk reducing procedures
        • Lifestyle changes, including nutrition consultation
      • Ongoing patient screening and follow-up 


      Frequently Asked Questions

      Is a referral required for an appointment to the High Risk clinic?

      We do not require a referral from your doctor, however, your insurance company may require a referral for seeing a specialist.

      Is there a cost for this service?

      We will collect your insurance information when we schedule your appointment and will bill accordingly. If an office visit co-pay is required, we will collect that during your visit. 

      Who are the providers in the High Risk Clinic? 

      Patients will be seen by a specialized nurse practitioner. If genetic testing is needed,  patients will see a certified genetic counselor for results of testing. Patients also have the opportunity to see a registered dietitian. 

      What does a typical visit to the High Risk clinic look like? 

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

      During your appointment, you will meet with the nurse practitioner and discuss family and medical history, risk assessment results, risk reducing options and recommended screenings. A breast exam will be done, if indicated. Additionally, genetic testing is available on site if you qualify. Regular visits last approximately one hour (in addition to any time spent on the risk assessment.) 

      Participants of the High Risk Clinic are offered two complementary nutrition appointments with a registered dietitian with the goal of helping you further lower your cancer risk through lifestyle changes. 

      Where is the High Risk Clinic located?
      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: [email protected]

      High Risk & Breast Cancer 101


      High Risk & Breast Cancer Nutrition


      High Risk & Breast Cancer Genetics