An initiative to effectively identify patients who are genetically at high risk for developing breast cancer has been the focus of Waterbury physician task force and is ready for implementation throughout the Waterbury area. The task force consists of representatives from obstetrics/gynecology, breast surgery, medical oncology, radiation oncology, pathology and radiology.
Identifying high-risk patients is important because genetic counseling, genetic testing (for BRCA and other mutations), special screening (such as annual breast MRI), or other preventative interventions may be indicated for these patients. In the past there has been no consistent, efficient way to identify our high-risk patients in Waterbury. The task force has recognized that our female patients are seen routinely most often by the radiology practices in Waterbury, at the time of annual mammography, and that this would be an ideal time to identify the patients who are at special risk for developing breast cancer.
At DRA we have always asked patients to fill out a questionnaire at the time of mammography, but this form has now been expanded to include more questions about the patient’s personal and family history. These questions are meant to identify patients at a higher risk of developing breast cancer, and whose blood relatives may also be at increased risk. Those patients will be so informed and will be given a recommendation to have genetic counseling, along with a list of available counselors in the area.
Our program is meant to help provide better identification and better subsequent care for Waterbury area resident who are at high risk of developing breast cancer. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact DRA’s Breast Imaging Coordinator, Felicia A. Ferry, RT(R)(M)(CBPN-I) at 203-756-8911.