Where there is a strong family history of similar or related cancers, we can complete a risk assessment and offer testing for specific cancer susceptibility genes.
When to refer
Consider a direct referral to genetics when:
2 or more blood relatives have had same or related cancer, especially if diagnosed under the age of 50.
Breast cancer has occurred under the age of 50, combined with ovarian cancer history.
Colorectal combined with ovarian, uterine, or gastric cancer.
Bilateral disease is present, especially when diagnosis was under the age of 50.
There is a cancer susceptibility gene identified in the family.
You suspect a family may have another cancer syndrome.
How to refer
Please refer potentially high risk individuals after obtaining the family history using our cancer family history form (Word 129Kb). If you feel that the patient needs an urgent cancer risk assessment, please call the clinician on duty on 020 7188 1364 to help you decide if a referral is appropriate.
An affected relative should be referred to their local clinic. If this is not possible, then we would be pleased to assess a close relative.
We no longer offer appointments to individuals at an average risk.
We encourage referrers to complete an initial risk assessment. Please call our duty genetic counsellor or write to us with queries, when you have the family history in hand.
Assessment and diagnosis
Only in about 20% of cases where there is a strong, confirmed family history do we find a known cancer susceptibility gene alteration.
A patient with a genetic diagnosis will be offered follow up services through our clinic. Additional screening may be arranged locally. Once a genetic diagnosis has been made, other family members who may be at risk can be referred. Assessments and screening suggestions will differ between family members based on their age, gender, and place in the family structure.
Once your patient is seen, you and the patient will receive a letter explaining the risk assessment, with suggestions and a reminder to ask for a re-assessment if the family history changes.