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MammoPlus® FAQ

What is MammoPlus®?
St. Mary Mercy Hospital has a unique mammography service called MammoPlus® where women are provided a digital mammography screening PLUS a lifetime risk assessment for breast cancer at the time of their screening mammography, which offers much more than a traditional mammogram and more information sooner.

With MammoPlus®, each patient is offered the National Cancer Institute’s Breast Cancer Risk Assessment as part of their standard mammography service. This tool helps us gather information about the patient’s personal health and breast history that assist us in determining if she may be at increased risk for developing breast cancer.

What is the Risk Assessment?
The Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool is a computer program that was developed by scientists at the National Cancer Institute and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project (NSABP) to assist health care providers in discuss­ing breast cancer risk with their female patients. The tool allows a health professional to project a woman’s individual estimate of breast cancer risk over a 5-year period of time and over her lifetime and compares the woman’s risk calculation with the average risk for a woman of the same age.

If the computer program score reaches a certain level, then a woman should meet with her physician team to further discuss her risk factors, risk reduc­tion and a custom monitoring plan.
Sometimes custom monitoring involves mammo­grams every six months instead of yearly or perhaps MRI or medication.

What factors does the Risk Assessment look at?

  • Age. The risk of developing breast cancer increases with age. The majority of breast cancer cases occur in women older than age 50.

  • Age at menarche (first menstrual period). Women who had their first menstrual period before age 12 have a slightly increased risk of breast cancer.

  • Age at first live birth. Risk depends on age at first live birth and family history of breast cancer.

  • Breast cancer among first-degree relatives (sisters, mother, daughters). Having one or more first-degree blood relatives who have been diagnosed with breast cancer increases a woman’s chances of developing the disease.

  • Breast biopsies. Women who have had breast biopsies have an increased risk of breast cancer, especially if the biopsy showed a change in breast tissue, known as atypical hyperplasia. These women are at increased risk because of whatever prompted the biopsies, not because of the biopsies themselves.

  • Race. White women have greater risk of developing breast cancer than black women (although black women diagnosed with breast cancer are more likely to die of the disease).

What other factors affect risk?
Other risk factors include: age at menopause, use of birth control pills, high body mass index, a high-fat diet, alcohol, radiation exposure and environmental pollutants.

What happens with the results?
Should your MammoPlus® risk score require further review, you and your referring physician are alerted to your score right away and within 48 hours you will receive a call to discuss your MammoPlus® results, as well as have an appointment scheduled for a more in-depth high risk assessment.

Our High Risk Clinic navigator is also available at your convenience to answer any questions about your personal risk.

What happens if I am identified as being high risk?
Once you are identified with a NCI Breast Cancer Risk Assessment score of 20 percent or higher, your referring physician will be notified. Upon that notification, you and your physician are encouraged to delve deeper into the risk factors that led to the score.

What high-risk services does St. Mary Mercy offer for patients at increased risk?
St. Mary Mercy has designed our RiskPlus™ program specifically for patients at increased risk. We offer an in-depth High Risk Assessment as a first step. This includes a patient questionnaire or Risk Analysis from over 70 data points that allows us to deeply examine your genetic, familial and personal breast risk, based on national intervention guidelines.

The second step is a Risk Counseling Session with our High Risk Coordinator that discusses the Risk Analysis results with you; any recommended interventions such as screening breast MRI, chemo­prevention consultation and genetic counseling; and an update to your personal surveillance plan.

What is the cost for MammoPlus®?
There is no additional cost for MammoPlus® - it is simply our version of the best mammogram service available.

How do I learn more about MammoPlus?
Please call 734-655-4216.

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St. Mary Mercy Livonia | 36475 Five Mile, Livonia, Michigan 48154 | 734-655-4800