High Risk Program

High Risk Program Medium Banner

Houston Methodist Cancer Center launched its High Risk Program to identify and serve patients with a stronger-than-average chance of developing breast, gastrointestinal, ovarian or uterine cancer. Our team, including doctors, nurses, genetic counselors and nutritionists, offers:

  • Risk assessment, including medical and family history review
  • Nutrition and lifestyle modification and education
  • Genetic screenings and counseling
  • Genetic testing
  • Cancer surveillance and regular exams
  • Clinical study participation

We collaborate with primary care doctors, ob-gyns and gastroenterologists, who refer their high-risk patients for more advanced evaluation.

Breast Cancer Risk

Our nationally and globally recognized specialists are experts in assessing and researching breast cancer risk, as well as diagnosing and treating the disease. We strive to prevent at-risk patients and their families from getting the disease using the latest technology, clinical trials, screenings and genetic counseling and testing.

During your initial visit, you will receive a care plan outlining your lifetime breast cancer risk based on your:
  • Genetic screening and counseling session
  • Medical and family history review
  • Genetic testing, if needed
  • Nutrition counseling

 Additionally, we provide information about:
  • Need for more intensive screenings
  • Breast cancer risk reduction options
  • Cancer prevention clinical studies

Risk factors include:
  • An inherited mutation in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes or other specific genes
  • A family history of breast cancer or other cancers, such as:
    • Ovarian
    • Endometrial
    • Prostate
    • Pancreatic
    • Colon
  • Radiation exposure to the chest
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry

Gastrointestinal Cancer Risk 

The high risk gastrointestinal cancer program provides a comprehensive colon cancer risk assessment, personalized screening plans, genetic counseling and testing, when appropriate, as well as nutrition guidance. 

  • A family history of GI cancer, especially before the age of 50
  • A family history of other types of cancers, such as:
    • Endometrial
    • Small bowel
    • Pancreatic
    • Breast
    • Ovarian 
  • Several colon polyps
  • A personal or family history of rare cancers

Having inherited one of the genes known to be associated with increased risk for colon cancer (E.g., MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2)

Uterine and Ovarian Cancer Risk 

The high risk gynecology program provides comprehensive risk assessment for ovarian and endometrial cancer, personalized screening plans, genetic counseling and testing, when appropriate, as well as nutrition guidance. 

Certain risk factors for ovarian and endometrial cancer are out of our control, such as age of first period, age of first birth, and age of menopause. There are other factors that we may have more control over, such as body weight.

The screenings your physician recommends will depend on your risk factors for developing uterine or ovarian cancer. Keep in mind that having one or more risk factors does not mean you will get the disease, and having no risk factors does not mean you cannot get it.

It is important that you and your doctor are aware of any factors that could increase your risk of developing uterine or ovarian cancer. Studies have linked several factors to the risk for these cancers:

Ovarian
  • A family history of ovarian cancer
  • A family history of other cancers, such as:
    • Breast
    • Endometrial
    • Colon 
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
  • Having inherited a mutation in BRCA1 or BRCA2, or certain other genes
Uterine (Endometrial)
  • A family history of endometrial cancer
  • A family history of other cancers, such as:
    • Ovarian
    • Breast
    • Colon 
  • Having inherited a mutation genes known to be associated with endometrial cancer, such as MLH1, MSH2, MSh6, PMS2