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Hereditary Cancer Risk Clinic

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We’ll find out if you’re at risk for certain cancers and guide your care.

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The Polyclinic Hereditary Cancer Risk Clinic (HCRC) works with patients who may have a higher chance of developing certain types of cancer. These include cancer of the breast, ovaries, uterus, colon, pancreas, skin (melanoma) and prostate.

These cancers can run in families, meaning you may have a gene that increases your chances of getting cancer. This is called hereditary risk. The HCRC team will identify your cancer risk factors. The clinic is led by Dr. F. Ames Smith, Jr., a hereditary cancer expert.

Knowing your cancer risk can help you and your care team guide your care. It improves your chances of not getting cancer and of finding it early. It can also help you know if family members should be checked for predisposition to certain types of cancer.

Our services include:

  • Reviewing your cancer risk based on your family history and other factors
  • Determining the need for and benefits of genetic testing
  • Working with a lab that does genetic testing
  • Reviewing and explaining test results
  • Developing a personalized care plan based on your risk
  • Managing medical care and surgeries with your primary care doctor if you are at high risk
  • Providing ready access to cancer screening and diagnostic tools, such as MRIs and CT scans
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Helpful information

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  • The National Cancer Institute recommends genetic testing if you meet certain criteria. A small sample of blood will be drawn and sent to a lab that specializes in genetic testing.

    Our easy online risk assessment can help identify possible genetic risk. If you answer yes to any of the questions, an evaluation may be helpful. Call 1-206-860-5586 to make an appointment. Or talk to your primary care provider about your risk for cancer.

    Source: National Cancer Institute. Genetic Testing for Inherited Cancer Susceptibility Syndromes. Last reviewed March 15, 2019. Accessed April 9, 2021.

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  • If you take the online risk assessment and meet the criteria for genetic testing, find out:

    • Which of your relatives may have been affected
    • Their age when diagnosed
    • The type of cancer they have or had

    Bring this information to your appointment. Also, please bring a list of any questions you may have.

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  • The first evaluation includes a 20 to 30 minute visit with Dr. Smith. If you meet the national criteria for genetic testing and wish to move forward, we will do a blood test. We’ll let you know when we get results. This usually takes two to three weeks.

    Whether or not you have an inherited risk for cancer, we will develop a care plan for you. If you have complex genetics, you may be referred to a genetic counselor for further guidance.

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  • Call 1-206-860-5586 to schedule an appointment or for more information. Fax forms, patient referrals and other documents to 1-206-720-8457.

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Helpful resources

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