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Need a Second Opinion?

If you'd like to schedule an appointment for a second opinion, call 434.924.9333.


Need a Second Opinion?

If you'd like to schedule an appointment for a second opinion, call 434.924.9333.


If you need to speak with someone about your appointment, call 434.924.9333.


Make an Appointment

If you'd like to make an appointment or get a second opinion, call 434.924.9333.

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Home > Cancers We Treat > Breast Cancer > High-Risk Breast & Ovarian Cancer Program

High-Risk Breast & Ovarian Cancer Program

Dr. Susan Modesitt

Established in 2007 to serve women at higher risk for developing breast and ovarian cancer, UVA's High Risk Breast & Ovarian Cancer Program offers in-depth individual counseling tailored to your personal history, family history and risk profile. 

Our experienced team is composed of physicians, nurses and genetic counselors.

Risk Factors for Breast or Ovarian Cancer

Susan Modesitt, MD, Director, High Risk Breast and Ovarian Cancer Clinic

Signs of increased risk of cancer are often based on family history. You might benefit from a consultation in our high-risk clinic if your family has any of the the following:

  • Multiple generations affected by breast cancer (or related cancers like ovarian, pancreatic or colon cancer)
  • Cancers occur at younger ages (for example women with breast cancer who are under 45)
  • Multiple cancers in one family member
  • Any male breast cancer diagnosis
  • Any ovarian cancer diagnosis
  • Triple negative breast cancer in a woman at 60 years of age or less
  • Pancreatic cancer in combination with other cancers
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
  • Personal history of therapeutic chest radiation before age 30 for other cancers
  • Increase calculated risk based on models. One model is the Gail Model that evaluates your relative risk of developing breast cancer based on your personal and family history.

Wondering if you're at risk for breast or ovarian cancer?

The Gail Model is a scientifically published, nationally accepted standard for estimating your relative risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer, based on your family history.

Take the Gail Model risk assessment now or 

Call 434.924.9333 to make an appointment. 

Early Detection & Cancer Risk Reduction Options

Although we still don't always know what causes cancer, there are new and powerful options available to detect and even prevent breast and ovarian cancers. You should be closely monitored if you're at increased risk and understand which options might be available to you.

We offer these services to women at high risk for breast and ovarian cancers:

  • Genetic counseling and testing
  • Screening
  • Risk reduction
  • Personal support for you and your family

Thanks to advances in our understanding of genetics, you can learn if you’re at higher inherited risk for cancer, enabling you to take action to stay healthy.

Genetic Counseling & Testing

  • Genetic mutations and other inherited risk factors are a factor in less than 10 percent of breast cancers but can be a factor in up to 20-25% of ovarian cancers. But if you do carry an inherited mutation, our high-risk team can help you understand what it means in terms of your risk of developing cancer. Full time genetic counselors assist in evaluation of genetic risk
  • Testing options to determine if a specific genetic mutation (hereditary predisposition) exists in you or in your family


  • Routine cancer screening is recommended for all women and includes mammograms to screen women over 40 for breast cancer, Pap tests (and/or HPV testing) to screen women over 21 for cervical cancer and colonoscopy to screen women over age 50 for colon cancer. 
  • Breast cancer: The highest risk women may benefit from breast MRI in addition to mammogram
  • Ovarian cancer:  The highest risk women may benefit from blood work or pelvic ultrasounds (or enrollment in a clinical trial for ovarian cancer screening)

Risk Reduction

  • Medications like birth control pills, breast cancer drugs like tamoxifen, or even aspirin can be prescribed to decrease the risk of specific cancers (ovarian, uterine, breast and colon)
  • For women at highest risk for cancer, risk-reducing surgery may be offered Advanced diagnostics like non-surgical treatment including chemoprevention (chemotherapy as a preventative measure)

Find out about your options for:

Make an Appointment

Call 434.924.9333 to make an appointment.