High-risk breast program at Kapiolani Medical Center

Dr. Keola Beale, Oncologist, Kapiolani Women's Center
Dr. Keola Beale, Oncologist, Kapiolani Women's Center

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dr. Keola Beale, an oncologist at Kapiolani Women's Center, joined us to talk about the hospital's High-Risk Breast Program (HRBP).

While all women are at risk for breast cancer, there are women who are at higher risk due to family history, genetic pre-disposition or previous pre-cancer diagnosis. For these women, Kapi'olani's High-Risk Breast Program offers an intensive monitoring and prevention program to identify problems early and provide women with peace of mind that comes with taking the necessary steps to manage their risk for breast cancer.

What circumstances would qualify a woman for the HRBP program?

  • A first degree relative (mother, sister or daughter) with breast cancer or second degree relatives with breast cancer, or
  • personal history or family history of ovarian cancer; or
  • diagnosis of atypical hyperplasia on a previous breast biopsy; or
  • diagnosis of lobular carcinoma in situ on a previous breast biopsy; or
  • family history of male breast cancer.

Comprehensive services include:

  • Detailed history and physical exam
  • Breast cancer risk assessment
  • State-of-the-art breast imaging
  • Genetic counseling and testing
  • Chemoprevention
  • Clinical trial enrollment
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Education on risk reduction and prevention/early detection
  • Psychosocial support services

"There are steps that women can take to reduce their risk for breast cancer and diet and nutrition play a big role," said Dr. Ian Okazaki, medical director for the Kapi'olani Breast Center. "The risk of breast cancer is higher for women who are obese, so women should maintain a healthy weight by following a low fat diet and exercising. Reducing one's body fat decreases the amount of excess estrogen which contributes to breast cancer. Another benefit to staying fit is that your immune system will be healthy and that can lead to greater protection from all types of cancer."

Most of these services are covered by health insurance however women who do not have insurance are still able to access our program through a grant from the Susan G. Komen Breast Center Foundation.

Additionally, the HRBP is offered throughout the state with services on Maui, West and East Hawai'i, Kaua'i and Moloka'i.

For more information about the High Risk Breast Program at Kapi'olani Women's Center or to schedule an appointment, please call Kapi'olani Health Connect at 808-527-2588.