Our Screening Services: Special Surveillance Breast Program

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's Special Surveillance Breast Program is a comprehensive, long-term program for women who are at increased risk for developing breast cancer.

Through the Special Surveillance Breast Program, we provide services for the prevention and early detection of breast cancer in women who have:

  • a diagnosis of atypical hyperplasia
  • a diagnosis of lobular carcinoma in situ
  • a family history of breast cancer in a first-degree relative (mother, sister, or daughter)
  • a history of radiation therapy to the chest
  • a known genetic predisposition to breast cancer

Initial Consultation

Prior to your first visit to the Special Surveillance Breast Program, you will be asked to complete a questionnaire detailing your background information and family history. Your initial consultation will take place at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center. During this visit, you will be examined by a physician who specializes in the detection and treatment of breast cancer and who has expertise in your particular risk factor. He or she will counsel you on your risk and discuss current concepts in prevention and early detection of breast cancer.

At the time of your initial consultation or at any time after your enrollment in the Special Surveillance Breast Program, your physician or nurse can make referrals to the following services at Memorial Sloan Kettering.

Breast Imaging

Our state-of-the-art technology provides the highest-quality images, and these are interpreted by radiologists who specialize in breast imaging.

  • Breast cancer screening services are provided at the Breast Screening Program.
  • Diagnostic evaluations — including ultrasound, ultrasound-guided biopsy, fine-needle aspiration, and ductograms — are also provided.
  • Breast MRI is available should your doctor determine this test to be valuable. Breast MRI may allow for earlier detection of breast tumors.

Nursing Services

The nurses of the surveillance program provide a variety of services. One of the most important is instruction in breast self-examination. Our goal is to provide individual educational sessions so you are confident in performing this exam.

Clinical Genetics Service

Our Clinical Genetics Service offers education about and testing for hereditary cancer risk. Women who have a family history of cancer may benefit from consultation with a specialist in hereditary cancer risk to assess the likelihood of a genetic risk for breast cancer (such as a mutation of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene). Referral to the Clinical Genetics Service may be made after a discussion with your surveillance program physician.


Nutrition education and counseling are available to women enrolled in the surveillance program. Studies show that appropriate nutritional habits may reduce the risk of many diseases, including breast cancer. A registered dietitian will work with you individually to discuss guidelines for healthful eating, weight management, and any other nutrition questions you may have.

Psychosocial Support

Women who are enrolled in the surveillance program may at times feel overwhelmed by issues surrounding their increased risk of breast cancer. The staff of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center includes psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers who are specially trained to assist you in dealing with your risk of breast cancer. Learn more about counseling and support.


The mission of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is the progressive control and cure of cancer through programs in patient care, research, and education. Because of this mission, you may be invited to volunteer in ongoing research studies (clinical trials). However, the choice of whether or not to participate is yours. Learn more about clinical trials.

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment with our Special Surveillance Breast Program, please call 646-497-9064.