Center for Cancer Risk Assessment

Breast and Ovarian Cancer Genetics and Risk Assessment Program

The Breast and Ovarian Cancer Genetics Clinic was the first disease program established within the Center for Cancer Risk Assessment (CCRA). Under the direction of Leif W. Ellisen, MD, PhD, our staff includes specialists in both breast oncology and genetics. We also work closely with the gynecology/oncology group at Mass General.

Patients interested in an evaluation for hereditary breast or ovarian cancer meet first with a genetic counselor. During the initial genetics consultation, family history is carefully reviewed. If an individual’s personal or family history suggests a possible genetic risk, the option of genetic testing is discussed. Each case is reviewed with Dr. Ellisen and the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Genetics team. Medical management recommendations are made when appropriate. Patients identified as high-risk based on genetic testing and/or family history can choose to be followed by Dr. Ellisen and the high-risk team at the Cancer Center.

The conditions most commonly discussed with patients in the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk Assessment Clinic include:

For patients who have a personal or family history of one or more of the following, genetic counseling may be appropriate:

  • Breast cancer diagnosed under the age of 45
  • Breast cancer in 3 or more family members on one side (maternal or paternal) of the family
  • Bilateral breast cancer diagnosis
  • Breast cancer in an individual of Ashkenazi Jewish descent
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Breast and ovarian cancer
  • Breast, thyroid, and uterine cancer
  • Breast, sarcoma, leukemia, adrenal cortical cancer, and brain cancer
  • Breast cancer and diffuse gastric cancer

Patients interested in a consultation with the Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk Assessment team can make an appointment in one of our two locations:

  • The Mass General Cancer Center main campus located at the Yawkey Building, Suite 9A, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA. The patient coordinator can be reached at 617-724-1971.
  • The Mass General/North Shore Cancer Center located at 102 Endicott Street, Danvers, MA. The patient coordinator can be reached at 978-882-6370.