High-Risk Breast Clinic

High-Risk Breast Clinic

Our physicians are leaders in the treatment of breast cancer throughout the Twin Cities area. Our multidisciplinary team provides compassionate, personalized cancer care tailored to the needs of each patient. Now, our practice is proud to expand its services to include assessment and ongoing surveillance of patients at high risk of breast cancer in our High-Risk Breast Clinic. 

The High-Risk Breast Clinic works with patients and their families to be a breast cancer detection center, dedicated to educating them about their risk of developing breast cancer and creating a strategy to reduce risk and increase the chances of early detection. 

Michele Haehnel ANP, GNP, ACHPN

Michele Haehnel ANP, GNP, ACHPN

High-Risk Breast Program


Importance of Hereditary Risk Assessment and Genetic Testing 

By determining whether an individual is at an elevated risk for cancer based on a genetic abnormality or strong family history, we can offer special options for medical and surgical management, lifestyle choices, and family planning.

This includes: 

  • Screening for cancers (at a younger age, more frequent intervals and/or using different technology)
  • Prevention or risk reduction of cancers (through medications or surgery)
  • Potential specialized early breast cancer treatment
  • Potential modification of cancer risk  through lifestyle changes
  • Information regarding risks to children and other family members

Who Should Enroll in High-Risk Management?

Although it’s important that all patients keep up with their regular cancer screenings, it is especially important for those at high-risk.

Patients who could benefit from risk management for breast cancer include:

  • Patients with a family history of multiple members with breast cancer
  • Patients with a relative with pre-menopausal breast cancer
  • Patients with a family history of any ovarian cancer or male breast cancer
  • Patients with histories of breast biopsies with atypia
  • Patients with dense breasts on mammography
  • Patients with known genetic variants predisposing them to breast cancer

Risk Reduction, Early Detection and Surveillance

Our commitment to treating breast cancer begins with prevention and early detection, empowering patients through increased awareness and surveillance.

Patients benefit from the clinic’s evaluation and ongoing follow-up with an advanced practice clinician skilled in breast health. Working closely with our genetic counselors, breast surgeons and medical and gynecologic oncologists, the High-Risk Breast Clinic will assist in developing an effective plan for reducing risk and early detection.

Early Detection

Early detection of breast cancer provides the best chance of effective treatment. When found early, breast cancer has more available treatment options and is associated with better outcomes and improved quality of life. 

High-Risk Surveillance

For those at high-risk for breast cancer, surveillance and management may include:

  • Monthly self breast exam
  • Annual mammograms, 3D preferred
  • Annual MRI 6 months after mammogram
  • Clinical breast exam twice a year
  • Education and support on modifiable risk factors
  • Risk-reducing medication options when appropriate

Please note: Risk-reducing surgeries are often reserved for those with strong genetic risk.

Genetic Risk Evaluation and Testing (GREAT) Program 

Our groundbreaking Genetic Risk Evaluation and Testing (GREAT) program is a leader in personalized cancer-risk reduction. Our goal is to guide patients through the process of deciding if genetic testing is appropriate and help determine if there is a genetic variation that puts the patient at risk for cancer. 

Our team includes physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, and genetic counselors with advanced expertise in cancer genetics. They have the experience to evaluate family history, provide knowledgeable guidance about cancer detection and prevention, and interpret the results of testing. 

Comprehensive Breast Care 

Patients with complex breast issues require advanced expertise utilizing evidence-based guidelines for evaluation, workup, consultation, assessment, and ongoing surveillance. 

In addition to providing on-going care to high-risk patients, and breast cancer patients, our breast team and surgeons provide comprehensive care for all breast-related issues including:

  • Benign breast disease
  • Dense breast tissue on mammography
  • Nipple discharge
  • Atypia
  • Inflammatory lesions
  • Adenosis