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Familial Breast Clinic

The Marvelle Koffler Breast Centre

The Familial Breast Cancer Clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital offers a comprehensive counselling and referral service for individuals with a family history of breast cancer. This clinic utilizes a team approach, including members of the Departments of Medicine, Nursing, Psychiatry, Social Work, Nutrition and Genetic Counselling.

Women referred to the clinic will be given access to a wide range of clinical services and research programs. Patient referrals should be faxed to 416-586-4545 by Medical Oncologists, Surgeons, Family Doctors, Obstetricians, Gynaecologists and Radiation Oncologists. A family tree is constructed by telephone or in person prior to the clinic visit for eligibility assessment by the Genetics Team. A clinic appointment is then offered. A genetic referral should be offered when there is suspicion of a hereditary cancer predisposition. For more information, please download the Hereditary Breast/Ovarian Cancer Referral Guidelines  (24 KB pdf pdf.gif).

During the first clinic visit, a medical and family history assessment will be performed by the Genetic Counsellor and/or Nurse. A consultation with a Physician will be arranged depending on the outcome of the assessment and if a clinical breast examination is required.

A second clinic visit may be arranged within the next 2-3 months to allow for confirmation of pathology reports on reported cancer cases in the family. This visit involves the review of additional information, meeting with the genetic counsellor for counselling and risk assessment as well as screening recommendations. If eligible, a blood specimen will be collected post-counselling.

Patients who are not eligible for genetic testing will be offered breast screening recommendations and chemoprevention options for follow-up with their referring doctor. Patients may be offered participation in the ExCel study of chemoprevention for women at increased risk of breast cancer. For more information, please visit the ExCel study website.

Those who have genetic testing are notified once the result is available and are given a clinic appointment to review and discuss the test result. Individuals who are found to be BRCA carriers can participate in screening and follow-up arranged through the clinic.

For more information on Genetic Counselling, please visit the Genetic Counselling Web page.


Medical Oncologist and Head of the Familial Breast Cancer Program:  Dr. Christine Elser
Genetic Counsellor:  Seema Panchal, MS, CGC
Clinic Nurse:  Velita Contiga, R.N., CON (C)
Psychiatrist:  Jon Hunter, B.Sc., MD, FRCP (C)
Research Assistant:  Evelyn Valdez

Telephone: 416-586-4800 ext. 3244