Search the Health Library
Get the facts on diseases, conditions, tests and procedures.
I Want To...
I Want To...
Find Research Faculty
Enter the last name, specialty or keyword for your search below.
Do you have questions or concerns about your or a loved one’s risk for breast or ovarian cancer? Are you a breast cancer survivor concerned about hormone replacement therapy or the risk of developing other cancers? Do you want to find out about genetic testing for breast and ovarian cancer? The Johns Hopkins Breast and Ovarian Surveillance Service (BOSS) might be right for you.
The Breast and Ovarian Surveillance Service (BOSS) can help you find the answers to your questions and understand your risks for developing breast cancer. Our caring and expert team of physicians, genetic counselors and nurse practitioners can put this information into perspective and help you use it to your best benefit. We will:
- Review your family history and other risk factors
- Provide individualized risk assessment
Perform a clinical breast exam and instruct you in breast self-exam
- Discuss and offer genetic testing to evaluate inherited cancer susceptibility
- Provide individualized cancer prevention and screening information
- Genetic Testing for Breast Cancer
Genetic counseling is an option for women who have a significant family history of breast cancer or have other factors that put them higher risk for developing the disease. There are many women who have been tested for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genetic mutations. However, knowing you test positive for one of these mutations is not a guarantee that you will develop breast cancer—and knowing you are negative doesn’t guarantee that you won’t develop it.
Our genetic counselors and medical oncologists specialize in the field of breast cancer and risk assessment and have years of experience guiding women and their families on their decision to be tested. For women who do decide to test, we offer a wide-range of options, including prophylactic double mastectomies. We also offer high risk screening services for women who wish to be monitored closely.
Co-Directors include Deborah Armstrong, M.D., and Kala Visvanathan, M.D. Genetic Counselor Jennifer Axilbund, aid in the surveillance of high-risk patients.
Kala Visvanathan, M.D., is a cancer epidemiologist and a medical oncologist with an interest in the etiology, early detection and prevention (both primary and secondary) of breast and ovarian cancer in both the general and high-risk populations.
A high-risk group has been assembled to monitor those with a family history. The team hopes to collect a data set to further study unknown cancer markers and methods of prevention.
Make an Appointment
Call Linda Thompson at 410-502-7082 to make an appointment for the Breast and Ovarian Surveillance Service (BOSS), including genetic testing for breast cancer.