The applicability of Human Genetics to the management of individuals with, or at risk of cancer has created the sub-specialty of clinical Cancer Genetics. Hereditary cancer work and research has been a prominent feature of cancer prevention at McGill University in the last decade.
The Jewish General Hospital of McGill University, the Stroll Family Cancer Prevention Centre provides infastructure for consultation services with a team of Cancer Geneticists and specialized Genetic Counsellors.
For self referred clients, preliminary screening assessments help determine if an individual requires specialist consultation.
Some clients are referred by General Practitioners or other specialists. The goals of the consultation include assessment of the genetic component of cancer risk, and providing advice about risk reduction strategies. The consultations are carried out by specialists in the Cancer Genetics program, coordinated by Dr. William Foulkes.
Genetic counseling is a dynamic communication process between the patient and the counselor that provides education and support within a multidisciplinary team. Basic components of a cancer genetic counseling session include:
- Taking a detailed family history
- Pedigree verification and documentation
- Cancer risk assessment, patient and family counseling
- Education regarding hereditary cancer as well as regarding the implications and limitations of genetic testing
- Options and guidelines for prevention and early detection
- Emotional support
- Referrals for specialty screening and evaluations, if appropriate
- Genetic testing, if appropriate and desired
Counseling is intented for individuals who are interested in having a personal risk estimate. Those at greatest risk for developing a malignancy may benefit from gaining access to new and current screening tests and prevention methods, whereas those at lower risk will be reassured that their risk for developing cancer is not as high as they thought.
To learn more, or if you have additional questions about Cancer Genetic Services or concerns about your family history of cancer, please contact the Genetics services directly:
Telephone: 514-340-8222 extension 23965 | Fax: 514-340-8712