Beaumont Hospital

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Family Risk Assessment Clinic

Dr Azlena Ali Beegan, Clinical Lecturer; Belinda Foat, CNS Breast Care; Dr Reem Salman, Consultant Breast Surgeon; Susan Geraghty, CNS Breast Care; Paula Fitzgerald, Surgical Secretary; Sarah Killeen, Surgical Secretary

What is familial breast cancer?

Familial breast cancer is cancer that occurs more frequently within a family than would be expected in the general population. We can’t always say what causes breast cancer, but the increased risk of breast cancer for those with a family history of the disease might be caused by inherited factors (genes) or a combination of inherited, lifestyle and environmental factors.

What is the family history clinic?

Our Family history clinic is run by a family history specialist (Doctor) and breast care nurses. Beaumont family history service provides care to asymptomatic individuals and families at higher risk of developing breast cancer including those known to carry one of the breast cancer genes (BRCA1, BRCA2). The care of women through family history clinic is based on international research/ evidence. The idea is to ensure that all patients attending receive the same standard of care based on their risk profile. At the family history clinic patients are given the opportunity to discuss their family history of breast cancer which forms the basis of a risk assessment. Using a specialist computer programme patients are divided into low, medium and high risk groups. There are different recommendations for each group. Each attendee is informed about what the risk might mean for them and support is offered to them in determining the best way to manage that risk, by screening, risk-reducing drugs , risk-reducing surgery, breast awareness and life style changes.

How do I get referred to the clinic?

Referrals into Beaumont Hospitals family risk clinic must be from a GP or hospital consultant. On receiving the referral letter, a standardised questionnaire will be sent to the patient which they complete at home. Once the patient returns the questionnaire by post, they will be offered an appointment to attend our family risk clinic.

The following people should attend the family history clinic?

1. A breast cancer gene has been identified in a family (e.g BRCA1, BRCA2)  

2. One 1st degree relative (a very close relative - mother, father, sister, brother, child) aged under 40 at diagnosis with breast cancer.  

3. Two relatives affected by breast cancer on the same side of the family aged under 50, one a first degree relative.  

4. Three 1st or 2nd degree relatives (close relatives, such as grandparents, uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews) on the same side of the family diagnosed before the age of 60.  

5. One relative with breast cancer and one relative with ovarian cancer on the same side of the family.  

6. Affected relative with bilateral breast cancer.

7. A male relative with breast cancer  

Family Risk Assessment Guidelines