Breast health risk assessment

A DNA test if you're worried about the risk of breast cancer.

The breast health risk assessment is a comprehensive screening process that covers your lifestyle, family history and a genetic test based on a mouth swab. You will also have a face-to-face consultation with a breast specialist.

Why you might need it

If you are worried about the risk of developing breast cancer, either because of your family history or your lifestyle, this could be the right option for you.

While the NHS does offer excellent care in this area, it has stringent criteria to qualify for testing. You will only be eligible if more than one family member has developed breast or ovarian cancer - or been diagnosed young – and specific faulty genes have already been identified in a relative.

If you don't meet these criteria but have decided you want the test, we can help.

We offer a comprehensive and integrated testing package, which analyses your family and your own history (including when you started menstruating and whether you have had children) to calculate risk. You will also take a DNA test via a mouth swab.

Find a Spire hospital offering this treatment

Who will do it?

Our patients are at the heart of what we do and we want you to be in control of your care. To us, that means you can choose the consultant you want to see, and when you want. They'll be with you every step of the way.

All of our consultants are of the highest calibre and benefit from working in our modern, well-equipped hospitals.

Our consultants have high standards to meet, often holding specialist NHS posts and delivering expertise in complex sub-specialty surgeries. Many of our consultants have international reputations for their research in their specialised field.

Before your treatment

You will have a formal consultation with a healthcare professional. During this time you will be able to explain your medical history, symptoms and raise any concerns that you might have.

We will also discuss with you whether any further diagnostic tests, such as scans or blood tests, are needed. Any additional costs will be discussed before further tests are carried out.

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Preparing for your treatment

We've tried to make your experience with us as easy and relaxed as possible.

For more information on visiting hours, our food, what to pack if you're staying with us, parking and all those other important practicalities, please visit our patient information pages.

Our dedicated team will also give you tailored advice to follow in the run up to your visit.

The procedure

The Breast Health Risk Assessment is an integrated, comprehensive test and comprises the following components:

  • An information video to aid decision-making
  • A lifestyle and family history assessment (Tyrer-Cuzick)
  • The deCODE BreastCancer™ genetic test based on a mouth swab
  • Presentation of the combined results as individual score in a face-to-face consultation with a breast surgeon
  • Your own personalised breast screening programme

The Tyrer-Cuzick lifestyle and family history assessment is a respected risk estimation model that calculates the risk of breast cancer in healthy women. It considers family history and lifestyle; the age a woman starts menstruating; and whether she has children.

The deCODE BreastCancer™ genetic test is a laboratory test carried out on a sample of a patient’s DNA, collected via a mouth swab. It looks for seven common genetic factors shown to contribute to a large proportion of female breast cancers.

BreastHealth UK will provide access to the Tyrer-Cuzick questions. You will also receive a box through the post with a DNA collection tool kit and instructions on how to take a mouth swab.

We will then help you arrange a consultation with the breast surgeon of your choice, where you will discuss the results in detail. This will take place approximately four weeks after you post your mouth swab sample to BreastHealth UK.


Your consultant will discuss the test results with you and help you develop your own personalised breast screening plan. If he or she feels that any further treatment is necessary all the options will be discussed with you in detail and can be provided in one of our modern and well-equipped hospitals.

We understand that any medical treatment can be a time of worry and anxiety. Our experienced and caring medical staff will be there for you, holding your hand, every step of the way. Whatever the outcome of the test, you can rest assured that you are in safe hands.

Why choose Spire?

We are committed to delivering excellent individual care and customer service across our network of hospitals, clinics and specialist care centres around the UK. Our dedicated and highly trained team aim to achieve consistently excellent results. For us it's more than just treating patients, it's about looking after people.

Important to note

The treatment described on this page may be adapted to meet your individual needs, so it's important to follow your healthcare professional's advice and raise any questions that you may have with them.

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