Hereditary Breast Cancer Ovarian Syndrome
Hereditary breast ovarian cancer syndrome (BRCA1/BRCA2) is an inherited tendency to develop breast, ovarian and other cancers. Most cancers are not inherited, but with hereditary breast ovarian cancer (HBOC), the cancer risk is passed from generation to generation in a family. Two genes are associated with developing this condition: BRCA1 and BRCA2 (stands for BReast CAncer). Mutations in these genes give a woman an increased lifetime risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers. Men who have this gene mutation have an increased risk of breast cancer and prostate cancer. Doctors often point to hereditary breast ovarian cancer when there are multiple cases of breast and/or ovarian cancer among blood relatives.
The UAB Medicine cancer program is ranked among the best in the nation. Patients who come to UAB Medicine for breast cancer treatment have access to the full array of specialists within our system, including medical, surgical, and radiation oncologists, certified oncology nurses, nurse navigators, reconstructive surgeons, and more.
UAB Medicine's Breast Health Center is unique in that we deliver the full range of breast health services including screening, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and research. Through our Lynne Cohen Preventive Care Program for Women's Cancer, we also offer comprehensive risk assessments and prevention strategies for breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer, arming women with knowledge to make informed decisions about their cancer risk and care. For women whose cancer is now in remission, our Breast Cancer Survivorship Clinic provides the ongoing medical and emotional support they need to remain healthy long after their treatment has come to an end.
As a part of the O'Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB, our innovative Interdisciplinary Breast Cancer Clinic utilizes a team of dedicated breast specialists to help patients evaluate their options as effectively as possible, which also allows patients and their families to meet with our various team members in one convenient visit. This approach facilitates better communication among team members, patients, and their families. Each patient is evaluated initially by one of our breast specialists before meeting face to face with other team members to discuss long-term treatment planning. Individualized care plans are developed in roundtable discussions and discussed with the patient and family members during the same visit, which allows questions to be asked of each team member.
The UAB Integrative Medicine Clinic features a collaborative approach to patient care among multiple practitioners and utilizes therapies that are proven in both traditional and complementary health care. Integrative medicine combines traditional medical care with programs designed to address the physical, biological, lifestyle, emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of health and illness. It focuses on the whole person, including family members, to optimize wellness and manage the challenges throughout each patient’s chronic disease or cancer care journey, from prevention to survivorship and beyond. It encourages the human capacity for healing and emphasizes the relationship between practitioner and patient.
Proton International at UAB
Proton International at UAB is Alabama’s first and only proton therapy center. Rather than traditional radiation, the center uses protons to reduce the dose to the healthy surrounding tissue and nearby organs, which leads to fewer side effects, better long-term outcomes, and improved quality of life in many patients.
Sonya Sutton was shocked when a routine breast exam led to the discovery of breast cancer. Learn more about Sonya's five year journey with cancer and why she credits UAB's team of oncologist and surgeons with her survival.
UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for the diagnosis and treatment of hereditary breast ovarian cancer sydrome. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.View Clinical Trials
- Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic
- Lynne Cohen and Norma Livingston Preventive Care Program for Women's Cancer
- Comprehensive clinical evaluations for breast and ovarian cancer risk
- Comprehensive genetic counseling
- Genetic testing including multi-gene panel testing
- Screening and prevention programs
- Screening and prevention research trials
- An assessment by a physician or nurse practitioner and certified genetic counselor
- Detailed family history and assessment of genetic cancer syndrome
- Collection of serum for germ line genetic testing (when appropriate)
- Development of an appropriate screening plan with mammography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), pelvic ultrasound, or serum-based tests
Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic
The Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic takes an interdisciplinary approach to caring for patients with serious illnesses, whether they are in active treatment or have completed treatment. Our goal is to help patients fulfill their maximum physical, emotional, spiritual, vocational, and social potential.
The health professionals at the Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic help patients manage the side effects associated with cancer. Referrals to the Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic can be made by any treating physician or nurse or by patient self-referral. A broad range of insurance is accepted.
Patient appointment scheduling is flexible and based on patient needs and other concurrent treatments. Clinic sessions are held Wednesday and Friday mornings with palliative care physicians and fellows. A physician assistant is available Monday through Friday.
Physicians and physician assistants have special expertise in complex symptom management including depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, loss of appetite, pain syndromes, and others.
Nurses support patients by facilitating the clinic sessions as well as managing communication with patients. They are the front line of patient care.
Physical therapists develop individualized programs for each patient to help with coordination, balance, strength, endurance, flexibility, or range of motion. Counselors are experienced in structuring counseling sessions to meet the specific needs of each person. Individual, couple, and family sessions are available.
Nutritionists have expertise in nutrition for patients with serious illnesses.
Massage therapists are trained in all types of massage, including oncology massage, which is a specialized approach that supports the body's health before, during, and after treatment for cancer.
Our clinic is an active teaching environment with fellows, residents, and students in both medicine and nursing participating in patient care.
The UAB Supportive Care and Survivorship Clinic is located on the 3rd floor of The Kirklin Clinic of UAB Hospital.
Patients can request an appointment online or by calling UAB Healthfinder at 205.934.9999 or 800.822.8816.
Lynne Cohen and Norma Livingston Preventive Care Program for Women's Cancer
UAB’s Lynne Cohen Preventive Care Program for Women's Cancer provides comprehensive risk assessment and prevention for breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer, arming women with knowledge to make informed decisions about their cancer risk and care. Launched more than a decade ago, the clinic merges multiple medical specialties with clinical expertise and research to create one of only a few programs of its kind in the nation dedicated to women’s cancers. In addition to offering sophisticated genetic counseling and assessment, the clinic provides access to preventive interventions and clinical trials. The program is staffed by a distinguished group of medical professionals, including surgical and gynecologic oncologists, genetic counselors, nurse practitioners, and research staff, who work together to deliver the highest level of personalized care.
The Lynne Cohen Preventive Care Program for Women's Cancer offers the following services:
When you choose the Lynne Cohen Preventive Care Program for Women's Cancer, your initial one-hour visit (completed in person or soon by telemedicine) will consist of: