High Risk Clinic

At Virginia Commonwealth University Breast Imaging, we are committed to excellence in personalized breast health. For most women, getting annual mammograms starting at age 40 years is one of the best ways to fight breast cancer. However, some women are at high risk based on a personal or family history of cancer or positive genetic test results. For these high-risk women, other screening and prevention strategies may be needed.

By combining expert genetic risk assessment, state-of-the-art breast imaging and access to comprehensive cancer prevention and treatment, our High Risk Breast Clinic is one-of-a-kind in the greater Richmond area.

Who could benefit from the High Risk Breast Clinic?

Women and their close family members with any of the following could benefit from the High Risk Breast Clinic:

  • Breast cancer at a young age (under 45 years)
  • More than two family members with breast cancer on the same side of the family
  • A family history of breast and ovarian cancer or pancreatic cancer
  • A male relative with breast cancer
  • Women with Jewish ancestry and even one case of breast or ovarian cancer in themselves or close family members
  • Persons who have been told they should consider genetic testing for breast cancer risk
  • Persons who are worried about their risk for breast cancer based on their family histories or genetic background

What happens at the High Risk Breast Clinic?

There are three types of information that can help us determine your genetic risk for breast cancer:

  • Your personal health history
  • Your family history, especially of cancer
  • Genetic testing, such as BRCA1 and BRCA2

During your appointment at the High Risk Breast Clinic, we will ask you questions about your personal and family histories of cancer and other related health concerns, as well as any genetic testing you or other family members may have had. Sometimes a brief physical exam is helpful, because some genetic syndromes can have risk for breast cancer.

From this information we hope to provide you with:

  • Your risk for breast cancer and other related health concerns
  • What genetic testing might be helpful and how likely you are to test positive
  • Comprehensive informed consent for genetic testing when it is indicated
  • Interpretation of genetic test results, usually in a follow-up visit
  • Personalized recommendations for breast cancer prevention and screening, including streamlined access to appropriate breast imaging such as mammography, ultrasound and breast MRI

Who are we?

John Quillin, Ph.D., M.P.H., C.G.C. is a licensed, board-certified genetic counselor. He is a member of the Massey Cancer Center and has been a cancer genetic counselor for almost 20 years. Along with caring for patients, Dr. Quillin has led research looking at breast cancer risk communication and predictors of cancer prevention behaviors. Dr. Quillin is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Human & Molecular Genetics at Virginia Commonwealth University, involved in the academic and clinical training of genetic counseling graduate students.

Biren A. Shah, M.D. is the Director of Breast Imaging, Director of the Breast Imaging Fellowship, and Associate Professor in the Department of Radiology. He is a board-certified radiologist for almost 20 years. He is series editor of 11 books, has co-authored several textbooks, numerous peer reviewed journal publications and has given many visiting professor lectures.?

Priti A. Shah, MD is Assistant Professor of Radiology, Breast Imaging Section, VCU Medical Center.  She is a board-certified radiologist and completed her Residency in Diagnostic Radiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center and her Fellowship training in Breast Imaging at the VCU Medical Center.

Tiffany Tucker, MD is Assistant Professor of Radiology, Breast Imaging Section, VCU Medical Center.  She is a board-certified radiologist and completed her Residency in Diagnostic Radiology from the University of South Florida and served as Chief Resident.  She completed her Fellowship training in Breast Imaging at the VCU Medical Center.

How are we different?

The VCU Breast Imaging High Risk Breast Clinic is the only high risk clinic in the Richmond metropolitan area that includes:

  • Genetic counselors with certification by the American Board of Genetic Counseling
  • A decade of experience offering dedicated cancer genetic counseling services
  • A Breast Imaging Center of Excellence designated by the American College of Radiology
  • Interdisciplinary cancer and prevention care
  • Integration with an academic medical center and a National Cancer Institute-designated Clinical Cancer Center

Where is the clinic?

The main clinic is at Stony Point with option for downtown site in the Familial Cancer Clinic, which includes genetic counseling for cancers other than breast cancer.

How do I make an appointment?

To make an appointment with the VCU Breast Imaging High Risk Breast Clinic, call (804) 237-6666.

We also request that you complete our medical history form [PDF] before coming in for your consultation.

Physicians who would like to schedule a referral for their patient should fax the patient referral form [PDF], along with the following, if available, to (804) 237-6616:

  • Medical records
  • Copy of insurance card (front and back)
  • Pathology, laboratory and radiology reports
  • Family history information

A member of our staff will call your patient to schedule an appointment.

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Call (804) 237-6666
to speak with a member of our staff and schedule an appointment at our Nelson Clinic or Stony Point location in Richmond, Va.

“Perfect experience. Very professional.”

– Excerpt from a VCU Breast Imaging patient satisfaction survey.