Specialized care for patients at greater risk for breast cancer

Nh Magazine: Breast Health Month

Denise Jeffery, APRN, CGRA, is a Nurse Practitioner specializing in genetic risk assessment at the Elliot Breast Health Center in Manchester. Photography by Kate Brindley

While all women are “at risk” for breast cancer, most women are considered to have “average risk.” For average risk, an annual mammogram starting at age 40 is the best approach for breast cancer screening; however, this approach may not be enough for those with “higher than average risk.”

The Elliot Breast Health Center in Manchester, NH, part of Elliot Health System, recognizes breast cancer screening is not “one size fits all.” The Center’s High-Risk Program identifies patients with “higher than average risk” for developing breast cancer and offers a comprehensive screening program that includes a personalized risk screening and prevention plan, state-of-the-art mammography, MRI, and Whole Breast Ultrasound, and a genetic risk assessment with a specialized nurse practitioner.

“The Elliot Breast Health Center staff is dedicated to the screening, diagnosis, and care of all women,” says Denise Jeffery, APRN, CGRA, Elliot Breast Health Center nurse practitioner. “We offer the most comprehensive and specialized breast care possible for women who have increased risk for breast cancer.”

Jeffery is certified in genetic risk assessment. She considers all aspects of risk related to genetics and family history to tailor a screening plan for each patient. Jeffery continues to evaluate these plans as a patient’s family history changes or to reflect new best practices for care.

Women who may be at high risk for breast cancer may have a mother, sister, or daughter diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 50; two more close relatives diagnosed with breast cancer at an early age (before 50); three or more women on the same side of the family diagnosed with breast cancer at any age; a history of radiation therapy for Hodgkin’s Disease; or a known genetic mutation in the family, among other factors.  Patients with a history of a high-risk lesion or atypical cells found on biopsy would also be considered at high-risk.

The Elliot Shiny Blue 2022 RgbTo learn more about the Elliot Breast Health Center, visit ElliotHospital.org/BreastHealth, or call 603-668-3067 to make an appointment.

Categories: Breast Cancer