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High-Risk Breast Clinic

Mass General Cancer Center at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

high risk breast cancer team

The High-Risk Breast Screening and Prevention Clinic at Mass General Cancer Center at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital provides personalized breast cancer risk assessment, comprehensive cancer genetics consults, and genetic testing related to hereditary cancer syndromes.


The High-Risk Breast Screening and Prevention Clinic is located on the Portsmouth campus of Wentworth-Douglass and is currently accepting new patients.  

At the clinic, we offer:

  • Genetic counseling and testing for cancer susceptibility genes including but not limited to: BRCA1, BRCA2, PALB2, CHEK2, RAD51D, RAD51C, and CDH1 (panel testing is most often ordered)
  • Personalized breast cancer risk assessment
  • The development of an individualized plan for breast cancer screening and risk-reduction
  • Long-term, personalized follow-up care
  • A collaborative partnership with the Center for Cancer Risk Assessment, which gives us the opportunity to refer patients identified with various mutations that we do not follow in our clinic

The clinic is staffed by a nurse practitioner with specialized training in cancer genomics, breast cancer risk assessment and a certified nurse navigator. The clinic is overseen by David Coppola, MD, a general surgeon with extensive breast surgery experience.

Are You a Candidate for Genetic Counseling?  

Genetic counseling is appropriate for anyone with a known pathogenic variant in a breast and ovarian cancer predisposition gene in their family, or for those with a personal or family history of one or more of the following:

  • Breast cancer diagnosed prior to or at age 50
  • Breast cancer in three or more people on one side (maternal or paternal) of the family
  • Bilateral breast cancer diagnosis
  • Male breast cancer
  • Triple negative breast cancer
  • Breast cancer in an individual of Ashkenazi Jewish descent
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Family history of breast and ovarian cancer;  breast, thyroid and uterine cancer; breast, sarcoma, leukemia, adrenal cortical cancer and brain cancer; breast cancer and diffuse gastric cancer; or breast and pancreatic cancer

Genetic testing is now universally recommended for all individuals diagnosed with colorectal, metastatic prostate, pancreatic, and ovarian cancers.

FAQs about the High-Risk Breast Screening and Prevention Clinic

Q. What does an appointment entail?
A. The initial visit is scheduled for one hour. You will fill out a survey about your family's cancer history and your own medical history prior to the visit. During the visit, we will review the family history, your risk factors, and your protective factors for breast cancer. A personalized plan for monitoring and risk-reduction will be developed and provided to you. Genetic testing will be ordered if medically indicated.  

Q. Will this visit be covered by insurance?
A. Usually it is covered as a specialist visit. We encourage you to contact your insurance provider as every plan is different. Our financial counselors may be able to answer the questions you have about coverage and billing.

Q. Will genetic testing be covered by my insurance?
A. The cost of this type of testing has decreased dramatically. Genetic panel testing is typically covered by insurance for individuals who meet testing guidelines. The typical out of pocket cost is <$100. Many people owe $0 out of pocket for the testing.

Q. What are breast cancer risk factors?
A. Your breast cancer risk is unique and can be influenced by many factors including age, family history, genetics, diet, exercise, breast density, and results of prior breast biopsies. Learn more and discover ways to reduce your risk of breast cancer.

Meet Our Team

General Surgery

David Coppola, MD

Wentworth Health Partners Seacoast General Surgery

Dover, NH 03820-2526

See Profile
Medical Oncology

Alison Ryan, APRN

Mass General Cancer Center at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital

Portsmouth, NH 03801

See Profile

Helene Langley, RN, CBCN, CN-BN, ONN-CG

Patient/Additional Resources

Portsmouth Outpatient Center

67 Corporate Drive, Building A
Portsmouth, New Hampshire 03801

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Monday - Thursday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Office: 603-610-8051

Fax: 603-609-6634

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