What is RiskPlus™?
St. Mary Mercy Hospital has created RiskPlus™ as the follow-up program to MammoPlus® where women are provided a digital mammography screening PLUS a lifetime risk assessment for breast cancer at the time of their screening mammography.
What are the benefits of the RiskPlus™ Program?
Our health care system must identify women at high risk of breast cancer and manage them appropriately. This will increase the survival rates of breast cancer. Most high-risk women are not being identified or referred for counseling. If they were, high-risk programs across the United States could not manage the volume if all high-risk women were referred. There are so many! Yet, we have no preventive mechanism to identify them nor are we actually identifying them all.
RiskPlus™ is a high-risk program developed to support:
- Patients identified as high risk through the MammoPlus service
- Patients referred directly for analysis and management of their risk profile
- Patients who may self-refer for a requested analysis of their risk, based on family history, disease history or simply heightened concern
- Patients undergoing enhanced surveillance for breast disease
What is included in the RiskPlus™ Assessment Consultation?
The RiskPlus™ Risk Assessment Consultation begins with an in-depth questionnaire (70 questions) that gathers your genetic and personal history in order to create a Risk Analysis. This questionnaire can be completed at your convenience - either on paper, online or via a phone interview with our Nurse Navigator.
Once the questionnaire is completed, the information is entered into our RiskPlus™ computer system. This information results in a Risk Analysis report that is used by our RiskPlus™ team to counsel you on risk-reduction strategies, recommended interventions, and ongoing surveillance based on your individual risk factors.
- The initial appointment at the High Risk Program is comprehensive and lasts approximately one and one-half hours.
- Our High Risk Coordinator will explain the RiskPlus™ program, review the Risk Analysis (based on your answers to the RiskPlus™ questionnaire), perform a breast exam and teach breast self-examination.
- If any diagnostic tests such as a mammogram, ultrasound or MRI are needed, they can be ordered the same day. Also, any other physician consultations will be arranged that day (See Partners in Breast Health below).
- We will also discuss what your specific risks are for breast cancer and how to reduce these risks.
Each woman is given an individualized Risk Analysis that provides an overview of her estimated risk based on her history. The effectiveness of various preventive interventions will also be discussed.
Partners in Breast Health
Follow-up appointments are made with individual team members according to the needs of each woman.
Available partner appointments are:
- A dietitian, who specializes in cancer risk, will take a body fat measurement and make recommendations for modifying your diet. Research has shown that diet and lifestyle affect all aspects of a woman’s health, including her risk for developing breast cancer.
- A psychologist will discuss some of the feelings associated with being at high risk, and about coping with illness and loss of family members who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
- A genetic counselor will provide education and counseling for women who have an excessive family history of breast cancer by using a computerized method to determine risk.
If you are referred by your primary physician, follow-up will be recommended with the doctor’s input. Some women will be followed regularly in the RiskPlus™ Program and others will be referred back to their physicians after their first visits.
Through open communication and education, team members become health partners with women at high risk for breast cancer, providing them with tools to live with less fear and anxiety.
What is the cost for RiskPlus™?
It depends on the patient’s state of breast disease - if she is affected or unaffected. And, of course, it depends on individual insurance coverage.
How do I learn more about RiskPlus™?
Please call 734-655-4216.