General Information about Cancer Genetic Services

Introduction to Cancer Genetics:

Recent advances in the field of Human Genetics have made the identification and management of individuals with or at risk of hereditary cancer possible. These advances helped to create the specialty of clinical cancer genetics within the field of Human Genetics. Hereditary cancer work and research has been a very important feature of cancer prevention at the Jewish General Hospital in the last decade. The Jewish General Hospital of McGill University, the Stroll Family Cancer Prevention Centre provides consultation services with a team of Cancer Geneticists and specialized Genetic Counsellors.


The goals of genetic counselling are to: assess an individual’s risk of cancer based on personal and family history, determine the genetic or hereditary component of the risk and to provide advice on strategies to reduce this risk when necessary. Genetic counselling is a dynamic communication process between the client and the counsellor that provides education and support to the client.

Staff Members:

The consultations are carried out by specialists in the Department of Medical Genetics, coordinated by Dr. William Foulkes. Please find below the complete list of the staff members working in this department:

Dr. William Foulkes, MB, PhD, Director of Cancer Genetics
Dr. David Rosenblatt, Interim-Head of the Department of Medical Genetics
Nora Wong, MS, CCGC, Genetic Counsellor
Lynn Macrae, MSc, Genetic Counsellor 


The members of the Medical Genetics team work together to provide the best possible care to their clients. Clients can always expect to receive professional and courteous service, support, and assistance from staff members possessing thorough knowledge of the field of human genetics.

The Jewish General Hospital is a McGill University teaching hospital. McGill researchers have a broad range of expertise and have contributed significantly to the scientific literature on breast and ovarian cancer genetics. Dr. Foulkes is best known for his work on the pathological features of hereditary breast cancer, for his discovery of a mutation in MSH2 specific to the Ashkenazim and for his identification of a mutation in the breast cancer susceptibility gene PALB2 specific to the FC POP. He has also uncovered a cause for both thyroid goitre and some rare ovarian tumors. He works with researchers around the world to better understand the genetics of various cancers.

The book Inherited Susceptibility to Cancer. Clinical, Predictive and Ethical Perspectives edited by William D. Foulkes (McGill) and Shirley V. Hodgson covers all the key issues in human cancer genetics. Book Review: Hum Genet (1999) 104:286 To view the list of publications by Dr. Foulkes, please click here.

Contact information for general information about the clinic:

Department of Medical Genetics
Tel.: (514) 340-8222 extension 23965 | Fax: (514) 340-8712

Jewish General Hospital
3755 Côte-Sainte-Catherine Road
Room A-805
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
H3T 1E2

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