Correct information is .. half the war won already


This page has been written by : Neena Bhatnagar

Genetics Risk Assessment: Before your consultation

Before the initial clinic visit, you will be asked to fill out a questionnaire with questions exploring your personal medical history, family cancer history, and additional cancer risk factors. With this information, your detailed family pedigree is charted with which, based on established computer models, we assess your cancer predisposition risk, and therefore this information is extremely important for your evaluation. Patients are required to carry as detailed information as possible for an accurate risk assessment

For any relative with a history of cancer, the following information is collected:

  • Primary site of each cancer, with supportive documentation of key cancers to confirm primary site and histology (e.g., pathology and CT/MRI reports, surgical reports)

  • Age at diagnosis for each primary cancer

  • Where the relative was diagnosed and/or treated

  • History of surgery or treatments that may have reduced the risk of cancer

  • Current age (if the individual is living)

  • Age at death and cause of death (if the individual is deceased)

  • Carcinogenic exposures (e.g., tobacco use, radiation exposure)

  • Other significant health problems

For relatives not affected with cancer, the following information is collected:

  • Current age or age at death

  • Cause of death (if deceased)

  • History of any surgeries or treatments that may have reduced the risk of cancer

  • Cancer screening practices

  • Any nonmalignant features associated with the syndrome in question

  • Carcinogenic exposures

  • Other significant health problems

Genetics Risk Assessment: During your consultation

The consultation generally consists of a review of your personal and family cancer histories, basic cancer genetics education, a personalized cancer risk assessment, a discussion of the possible option of genetic testing, and personalized medical recommendations for early detection, risk reduction and prevention, lifestyle modifications. Your concerns regarding risk to relatives, child-bearing, and any other hereditary issues are addressed.

Genetics Risk Assessment: Following your consultation

An assessment of your cancer risks based on genetic predisposition is provided to you and your referring physician, outlining your personal and family cancer histories, an assessment of the likelihood of an inherited risk for cancer in the family, any genetic testing advised to confirm the risk status, and guidelines for early detection and prevention of cancer. A genetic consultation is highly confidential and no information is shared with people or physicians without your written consent. Generally more than one session is required to sort out understanding of the mechanics and possible outcomes of genetic testing, and cancer risks.