Familial Breast Cancer Clinic

The Familial Breast Cancer Clinic at Mount Sinai Hospital offers a comprehensive counselling and referral service for individuals with a personal and/or family history of breast cancer, or other cancers suspicious for a hereditary predisposition.

This clinic is facilitated by genetic counsellors who provide breast cancer risk assessment to determine eligibility for high-risk breast cancer screening through the Ontario Breast Screening Program. Also, the genetic counsellor determines eligibility for genetic testing. Following an assessment, referrals are made to members of the team in the departments of medicine, nursing, psychiatry, social work, and nutrition as required.

Women referred to the Familial Breast Cancer Clinic will be given access to a wide range of services and research programs. A genetic referral should be offered when there is suspicion of a hereditary breast cancer predisposition, or to determine eligibility for high-risk screening. Women need to be referred to the High Risk Ontario Breast Screening Program by their physician. Family members of gene mutation carriers can also be referred directly through their general practitioner (family doctor) or specialist.

A genetic counsellor will review the referral to determine eligibility for an appointment. The genetic counselling appointment will be arranged as a telephone consultation or in-person visit.

During the appointment, the genetic counsellor will review the medical and family history. They will use this information to determine eligibility for high-risk screening and genetic testing. When genetic testing is done, a blood sample will be taken and results typically take upto 8 weeks. Results are often disclosed either in person or by phone during a post-test counselling session. Recommendations will be provided to the referring physician.

Individuals who are found to carry a hereditary predisposition may be offered ongoing clinical follow-up through our high-risk clinic.

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