A consultation with our Clinical Cancer Genetics Program generally will include the following:
The genetic counselor will obtain information about the patient’s personal medical history, as well as a cancer-focused family tree including many generations. Patients are asked to complete the Genetic Risk Assessment Questionnaire and bring it with them to their initial genetic consultation.
Patients can review additional tips to gather a cancer-focused family history below:
The genetic counselor will assess the likelihood of hereditary cancer predisposition in the family, and will discuss this assessment with the patient. When medically indicated, this will include a discussion of any relevant genetic testing.
A genetic test is the process of testing blood to find genetic mutations that may contribute to an increased risk for some cancers. Patients are also counseled on the ethical and legal issues of genetic testing. Patients who appear to be appropriate candidates for genetic testing based on the pattern of cancers in their families will be given information about the available test or tests.
Based on the family history and/or genetic test results, each patient receives information on the methods available to reduce their risk of cancer. This may include a discussion of screening strategies, chemoprevention and prophylactic surgery. As needed, patients are referred to high risk screening clinics for further discussion and long-term follow-up.