High Risk Breast Program

The High Risk Breast Program of Vermont (HRBP) is a clinical research program intended to promote early detection and prevention of breast cancer through screening, treatment, education and research. The HRBP is based within the Breast Care Center and the Vermont Cancer Center at the University of Vermont and Fletcher Allen Health Care. The HRBP is available to women who have an increased risk for developing breast cancer due to a strong family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer, a genetic abnormality, or a prior abnormal breast biopsy.

If you think you may be at increased risk for developing breast cancer and would like to see a HRBP provider for further assessment and care, please contact the Breast Cancer Center schedulers at 802-847-2262.

Clinical Care
The clinical component of the program offers women consistent, state-of-art, high-risk breast cancer screening and prevention options through Fletcher Allen Health Care’s Breast Care Center.

Research Opportunities
The HRBP provides women with the opportunity to contribute to breast cancer research by participating in research studies and clinical trials that focus on cancer prevention for both pre and postmenopausal women.

Education
Women who enroll in the HRBP’s "Clinical and Molecular Markers of Breast Cancer Risk" study receive a quarterly educational newsletter. The newsletter reviews specific risk factors and cancer screening/prevention options, provides updates on new research findings and recommendations and informs women about on-going clinical studies they may participate in through the HRBP.

Eligibility Criteria for HRBP:
To be eligible to participate in the HRBP participants must have in increased risk for developing breast cancer. Health care providers at the Breast Care Center identify patients as having an increased risk for developing breast cancer if they meet any one of the following criteria:

  1. A strong family history of breast (male or female) and/or ovarian cancer. Strong family history is defined as one of the following:
    a. Two or more first-degree* relatives with breast cancer or ovarian cancer.
    b. One first-degree relative and two or more second- or third degree relatives with breast cancer.
    c. One first-degree relative with breast cancer or ovarian cancer before the age of 50 years
    d. One first-degree relative with breast cancer and one or more relatives with ovarian cancer
    e. Two second- or third-degree relatives with breast cancer and one or more with ovarian cancer.
    f. One second- or third-degree relative with breast cancer and two or more with ovarian cancer.
    g. Three or more second- or third-degree relatives with breast cancer.
    h. One first-degree relative with bilateral breast cancer.
  2. Individuals with a known genetic abnormality of a breast cancer causing gene in themselves or a family member.
  3. Individuals with a prior breast biopsy showing atypical ductal hyperplasia or lobular neoplasia (atypical lobular hyperplasia or lobular carcinoma in-situ)
  4. Individuals with a Gail Model breast cancer risk of greater than or equal to 1.67% over the next 5 years or greater than 20% lifetime risk.
  5. Individuals with a history of chemoradiotherapy to treat Hodgkin’s disease.

*First-degree relative refers to parents, siblings and children, second-degree relative refers to grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and half-siblings, third-degree relative refers to cousins, great aunts and great uncles.

More Information
Visit the High Risk Breast Program of Vermont (HRBP) website for additional information.