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What is UCLA-Athena?
Athena Breast Health Network-UCLA Screening Mammography Registry
For the first time, the five UC Medical Centers have come together to unite California women, physicians, and researchers to better personalize breast cancer prevention, screening, and treatment through the Athena Breast Health Network. Athena is designed to revolutionize breast cancer care by more efficiently merging technology, financing, health care delivery, and research in a way that reduces the time needed to translate research findings into patient care.
The goal of the UCLA Athena project is to follow patients from screening, to diagnosis, treatment, and ultimately survivorship, and to provide innovative and individualized treatment across the board. Our goal is to deliver personalized care to all patients presenting for their mammogram by feeding back information on their risk, initiating faster preventative care, and providing direct resources for cancer interventions to each woman.
What does a Breast Health Specialist do?
The UCLA Athena Breast Health Specialist, for the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, works to help women identify if they are at an increased risk of developing breast cancer, and ensures that they are provided the most comprehensive resources and risk reduction methods possible. As a member of the Athena team, the Breast Health Specialist works in collaboration with other breast health specialists, genetic counselors, physicians, and healthcare professionals at all of the University of California Medical Centers. The Breast Health Specialist consults with women who are identified as being at an increased risk for developing breast cancer and evaluates their risk factors with them. She listens to their concerns and makes sure that they have the best referrals and follow up.
Why should a patient see a Breast Health Specialist?
Patients who have been identified as being at an increased risk for developing breast cancer, based on the answers provided on the mammography questionnaire, should contact their Breast Health Specialist. The Breast Health Specialist will review the patient’s risk assessment and confirm or revise risk factors from the questionnaire to evaluate if a patient is at an increased risk. After reevaluating the information, patients still considered to be at an increased risk for breast cancer will be recommended the appropriate medical, psychological, and related health-enhancing programs. The goal is to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer as much as possible.
About your UCLA Athena Breast Health Specialist
Erica L Silver, M.S., L.C.G.C. is a licensed and certified genetic counselor specializing in cancer genetics and hereditary cancer syndromes. She received her Bachelor's degree from California State University, Northridge in Cellular and Molecular Biology. She then completed her Masters degree in Genetic Counseling at the University of Pittsburgh. She is board certified by the American Board of Genetic Counseling and holds a genetic counseling license through the California Department of Public Health. Her interests include the decision-making process to proceed with genetic testing and how individuals use the information to help make management decisions.