Health Care Provider Education

A health care provider informing her patient about her symptoms.
Health Care Provider Education: Early Onset Breast Cancer

Improve the quality of care for your young patients by learning about the risk factors for early onset breast cancer, and the steps you can take to improve outcomes for patients at risk.

According to national data, only 28.7% of primary care physicians refer a woman with average risk to genetic counseling, and 41.1% refer a woman with high risk for genetic counseling or testing, indicating a knowledge and efficacy gap in appropriate genetic risk detection.

Educating health care providers is an essential component of the Bring Your Brave campaign’s effort to reduce the burden of early onset breast and ovarian cancer in young women.

Under the Affordable Care Act, CDC was mandated to develop a campaign to educate young women and health care providers about early onset breast cancer and hereditary breast and ovarian cancer risk. The federal Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer in Young Women (ACBCYW) provides guidance to CDC in these efforts.

The goal of this targeted education program is to—

  • Improve awareness of early-onset breast cancer among medical providers.
  • Equip medical providers with the skills to identify and counsel young women at high risk for breast cancer.
  • Address patient-provider communication gaps.
Photo of a nurse.

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the American Cancer Society, and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network provide recommendations to help health care providers and patients understand their risk and decide whether a preventive service is right for individual patients with an increased risk of breast cancer.

This tool is designed to help providers assess risk for early onset breast cancer (EOBC, breast cancer diagnosed in women before the age of 45) based on personal history, make appropriate referrals for follow-up care, and educate patients about risk reduction strategies.