Cancer Risk Management Program


Assessing your risk

The goal of the Cancer Risk Management Program is to identify patients who are at increased risk of developing cancer and work with them to manage that risk. Experts in our program include nursing specialists, genetic counselors, and physicians. These providers conduct individualized cancer risk assessments and work together to design personalized cancer screening and prevention plans for patients and their families.

Who benefits from the program?

The program is designed for patients with an increased risk of cancer for personal or family history reasons. Family history concerns include early onset cancers or multiple cancers in the family. Patients with certain health conditions that increase the risk of cancer, such as ulcerative colitis, may benefit from further assessment and more frequent or additional cancer screening. Consider genetic counseling if you have a personal or family history of the following:

Breast, Ovarian or Colon Cancer

  • Breast cancer before age 50
  • Multiple close relatives with breast cancer
  • Triple negative breast cancer, any age
  • Male breast cancer
  • Ovarian cancer, any age
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry and breast or ovarian cancer
  • Colon & Endometrial
  • Colon or rectal cancer before age 50
  • Endometrial cancer before age 50
  • Multiple (>10) colon polyps
  • Multiple close relatives with colon or endometrial cancer

Other Rare Cancers

  • Two or more melanomas
  • Two or more pancreatic cancers
  • Two or more sarcomas or brain tumors
  • Medullary thyroid cancer, pheochromocytoma, adrenal or kidney cancer

Personal histories

  • Cancer treatment completed less than 5 years ago and additional surveillance is needed
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Fibrocystic breast disease
  • Other cancer risk factors

Preparing for the appointment

In order to make efficient use of our clinic time together, when possible we ask patients to gather the following prior to their appointment:

  • Medical records from their previous cancer diagnosis or relevant health condition
  • Medical records documenting previous cancer screening (mammograms, colonoscopies, etc.)
  • Copies of any previous genetic testing
  • Information about their family history of cancer including type of cancer and age when relatives were diagnosed

What to expect

Depending on the reason for referral, patients will have their first appointment either with our genetic counselor, the nurse specialist, or back to back appointments with both providers.

Genetic Counseling involves:

  • Obtaining family cancer history
  • Discussing how cancer is inherited in families
  • Reviewing available genetic testing options
  • Discussing implications of genetic testing for patients and their relatives
  • Making appropriate cancer screening recommendations

Meeting with a clinical nurse specialist involves:

  • A limited physical exam
  • Discussion of cancer prevention
  • Developing an individualized plan for cancer screening and surveillance
  • Ongoing cancer risk management

Specialists at University of Minnesota Cancer Care and around the world are continuously looking for new genetic markers and indicators of cancer. They are creating tests to identify these markers while researchers are developing better ways to prevent cancer in high-risk individuals.


Talk to your doctor about making a referral to the Cancer Risk Management Program.  If he or she is a Fairview or University of Minnesota physician, they can make a referral through your electronic medical record by ordering "Cancer Risk Mgmt/Cancer Genetic Counseling."

Cancer Risk Management Program Locations

Breast Center
University of Minnesota Medical Center
424 Harvard St. SE, First Floor
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Masonic Cancer Clinic
University of Minnesota Medical Center
424 Harvard St. SE, 1st Floor
Minneapolis, MN

Gynecologic Cancer Clinic
Phillips-Wangensteen Bldg.
516 Delaware St. SE, Clinic 1C
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Southdale Cancer Clinic
6363 France Ave. S., Suite 610
Edina, MN 55435

Ridges Cancer Clinic
14104 Fairview Drive
Suite 200
Burnsville, MN 55337

Maple Grove Cancer Center
University of Minnesota Health Maple Grove Clinics
14500 99th Ave. N.
Maple Grove, MN 55369

Lakes Cancer Clinic
University of Minnesota Medical Center-Wyoming
5200 Fairview Blvd., Suite 1300
Wyoming, MN 55092

Journey Clinic: Center for Children with Cancer and Blood Disorders
Riverside East Building, Ninth Floor
2450 Riverside Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55454

Get Involved in Research

As part of our program, patients have the opportunity to get involved in familial cancer research. The William C. Bernstein MD Family Registry is advancing understanding of hereditary cancer and helping researchers learn about cancer risk, find genetic clues and ultimately improve prevention and treatment protocols for all individuals who get cancer in their lifetime.