Devoted to Women at High Risk
The increase in breast cancer awareness over the last two decades has made a life-saving impact. For women who are at high risk of breast cancer, detection and treatment begins even earlier and carries more significance. With these women in mind, our High Risk Breast Clinic is run by physicians who specialize in risk factors, including a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, genetic mutations, hereditary syndromes, risk assessment model, and history of radiation therapy to the chest.
A combination of clinical expertise, technology, and focused research drives success in our program. The High Risk Breast Clinic features the latest high-resolution breast screening technologies, including molecular breast imaging, 3D mammogram, and breast MRI. These imaging technologies can provide clearer evaluations of dense breast tissue. Mayo Clinic is recognized by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for the critical mass of researchers working in women’s cancer (breast and gynecological). Also, the Breast Cancer SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence) at Mayo Clinic is one of five programs in the nation focused on breast cancer, helping research findings move quickly from the lab to direct patient care.
Early and Expedited Treatment
For women with certain types of early stage breast cancer, Mayo Clinic offers an expedited treatment protocol that allows patients to complete their entire treatment, including surgery and radiation therapy, in less than 10 days. Women with small breast cancer tumors and no cancer in their lymph nodes may be able to have a lumpectomy performed in an outpatient procedure. After surgery, these patients receive brachytherapy treatment twice a day, six hours apart for five days for a total of 10 treatments. And the care doesn’t stop there.
Did you know cancer patients are among those at the highest risk of severe illness from COVID-19? We offer cancer care at home with virtual visits when appropriate using our Remote Patient Monitoring Program, providing a safe, effective way for patients and care teams to remain connected and informed. Our cancer experts support follow-up care managed in your hometown by working collaboratively with your local physician for a personalized and seamless care transition back home.
Focusing on Diverse Communities
Supporting health equity for diverse communities comes from the top at Mayo Clinic Cancer Center. Our executive director, Dr. Cheryl Willman, leads by example with research and expertise in the study of genomic, environmental, and behavioral mechanisms resulting in cancer that disproportionately affects communities of color and causes tremendous disparities in incidence and outcomes. In practice, Dr. Willman’s work is reinforced by culturally specific patient navigators who serve as liaisons between the care team and the patient, their family, and their designated communities. Navigators identify patient needs and work collaboratively with staff throughout Mayo Clinic and local service providers to facilitate connections and decrease barriers to treatment. At the core of it all is a goal to improve every patient’s experience.