Roswell Park Cancer Institute Experts Discuss What it Means to be at High-Risk for Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer: What It Means to be High Risk


Breast cancer can happen to anyone, but if a family member has had it, you are at greater risk. You can’t ignore it and think ‘it won’t happen to me.’ In fact, if breast or ovarian cancer is in your family, you may have a gene mutation.  With many celebrities revealing their mutations and seeking preventative measures, you may be wondering how you can protect yourself and your family.

Four leading cancer experts from Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in Buffalo, N.Y., discussed and answered your questions about breast cancer risk, early detection, genetics and screening during a live, interactive online video chat recorded on Thursday, October 22, 2015.

Panel Members

Jessica Young, MD is a breast surgeon with a special interest in high-risk populations, underserved populations, and epidemiology studies. She leads Roswell Park’s Breast Cancer Risk Assessment & Prevention Program, helping high-risk women understand their risk levels and screening needs in order to be proactive in seeking early detection of cancer and measures to reduce their risk.

Nicoleta Voian, MD, MPH, is Director of the Clinical Genetics Service at Roswell Park. She helps individuals to understand their cancer risk based on their personal and family history of cancer. Dr. Voian also provides patients with the most current information about inherited predisposition for cancer.

Ermelinda Bonaccio, MD is the Director of the Mammography Center at Roswell Park. She works to identify cancers at their earliest stages using the most-advanced imaging technology and collaborates closely with her colleagues in surgical and medical oncology to develop the most effective treatment plans.

Christine Ambrosone, PhD, is an epidemiologist and the Chair of the Department of Cancer Prevention and Control. Her research focuses on finding the causes of breast cancer, particularly those that tend to be most aggressive.  Because African-American women are more often diagnosed with early onset breast cancer and tumors that have fewer options for treatment, much of her research is to understand the reasons for those differences.

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