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Athena Breast Health Network

UC Irvine is proud to be a founding member of the Athena Breast Health Network, a joint project of the University of California's five medical centers to unite California women, physicians and researchers in an effort to prevent breast cancer and improve screening and treatment of the disease.

Launched in 2009, the Athena project's goals are:

  • To personalize breast care by assessing and communicating patients’ cancer risk with them and their clinicians
  • To conduct epidemiologic, basic science and clinical research, and comparative effectiveness and quality improvement studies.
  • To continuously improve prevention, screening, diagnostics, treatment and survivorship strategies.

A higher standard of patient-centered care

As part of the Athena Breast Health Network's program at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, all patients given a screening mammogram at UC Irvine Medical Center will receive an online health history questionnaire to help us personalize their screening and a breast cancer prevention plan.

Patients whose screening suggests they are at elevated risk for developing breast cancer in the future will be contacted by a UC Irvine breast health specialist and counseled on breast cancer risk reduction and preventive interventions. The specialist will also partner with the patient’s primary care physician to ensure better management of the patient's health.

Innovations in research

Athena network physicians and researchers at the cancer center are teaming up across the state to develop and provide personalized breast cancer screening and treatment programs.

The goal is to recruit more than 150,000 California women at the University of California's five medical centers and to monitor their health over decades. The purpose is to advance the science of screening, diagnosis, management and prevention of breast cancer by improving delivery and approval of new diagnostics, creating customized therapies and common systems that integrate clinical data capture and research across the statewide network.


To learn more about the Athena program at UC Irvine, please contact principal investigator and epidemiologist Hoda Anton-Culver, PhD, or program director Hannah Park, PhD. Visit the general Athena website at www.athenacarenetwork.org.