Welcome to the Genetics/Hereditary Breast Cancer Clinic. We provide comprehensive genetic counselling services for individuals with a personal and/or family history of breast and/or ovarian cancers. Through a team approach, we provide integral genetic services while advancing patient care and research.
We are available to talk with you about whether the cancer in your family may be hereditary and if genetic testing is appropriate in the family. Where warranted genetic testing will be arranged and results and implications discussed. We can speak with you about different options on how to best manage and reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancers. We can also let you know if you are eligible for additional breast cancer screening through either the WCH High Risk Breast Screening clinic or the Ontario Breast Screening Program (OBSP). Necessary referrals can be made (where appropriate).
Research & Trials: we also work closely with the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit and may be able to discuss research opportunities with you.
Why refer to our clinic?
- Get more information about what your personal or family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer may mean
- Learn more about your lifetime risk to develop breast/ovarian cancer
- Find out if you are eligible for genetic testing through OHIP (if so, testing can be arranged)
- Find out how you can best manage or reduce your risks for developing breast and/or ovarian cancer
- Find out if you are eligible for any additional high-risk breast cancer screening and/or options for ovarian cancer risk-reduction
- If one of your relatives has had genetic testing and was found to carry a genetic mutation
Eligibility for Genetic Counselling
Individuals are eligible to be referred to our clinic if they have a personal and/or family history in close relatives of one or more of the following:
- Family member with an identified mutation in a hereditary breast/ovarian cancer predisposition gene (e.g. BRCA1, BRCA2, CHEK2, PALB2, ATM, BRIP, RAD51C, RAD51D, TP53, PTEN, etc.)
- Breast cancer at ≤ 45 years
- Breast cancer at ≤ 50 years with limited family structure (i.e. adoption)
- Triple negative breast cancer at ≤ 60 years
- Bilateral breast cancers, especially if one was diagnosed ≤ 50 years
- Ovarian cancer (including fallopian tube and primary peritoneal) at any age
- Male breast cancer at any age
- HBOC-related cancers (i.e. breast, ovarian, pancreatic and/or prostate) at any age and Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
- Multiple cases of HBOC-related cancers on the same side of the family
What To Expect
During your appointment you will meet with a genetic counsellor. Genetic counselling at our clinic is comprised of:
- Review of your personal and family history
- Confirmation of the types of cancer (i.e. pathology) in you and/or relatives. This may be requested prior to your appointment
- Discussion about hereditary versus sporadic cancer
- Risk assessment for (a) the chance to develop breast and/or ovarian cancer AND (b) the chance that the cancers in the family are hereditary
- Discussion about genetic testing eligibility (note: not all patients will be eligible for genetic testing)
- Where applicable, genetic testing implications are discussed
- Where applicable, cancer screening recommendations are discussed
- Patients who have genetic testing receive their results in-person or over the telephone
- Discussion about the implications and interpretation of the genetic test results
- Review of lifetime cancer risks and screening recommendations
- Where appropriate, referrals are made
- Where applicable, other at-risk family members may be seen or referred to a local genetics clinic
How can I make an appointment with the Genetics/Hereditary Breast Cancer Clinic?
Eligible individuals are ideally referred to the clinic by their family physician, surgeon or oncologist. However, we do accept self-referrals (if warranted). See Provider section for details.
You may be able to get genetic testing through some of our research studies. There are costs involved for some of the studies (eg The Screen Project). Check out our ongoing studies in the Familial Breast Cancer Research Unit.
The following individuals make up the genetics/hereditary breast cancer clinic team:
Physician Lead: Dr. Steven Narod, MD, FRCP
Genetic Counsellor: Angelina Tryon, MS, CGC
Genetic Counsellors can assess personal and family medical history to determine if an individual may have an increased risk for developing certain types of cancers. A Genetic Counsellor will discuss whether the cancer in a family may be hereditary, and if genetic testing is appropriate. Where warranted, genetic testing will be arranged and results and implications discussed. Genetic Counsellors can also provide information and support to an individual and their family, regarding the different options on how to best manage and reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancers.
Genetics and Hereditary Breast Cancer Clinic
Women’s College Hospital
76 Grenville Street
Toronto, ON M5S 1B2
416-323-6400 X4628 (reception
Hours of Service
Monday – Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Referrals to the Genetics/Hereditary Breast Cancer Clinic
A referral form for the Integrated Hereditary Breast & Preventive Ovarian Cancer Program needs to be completed. To be seen in the Genetics/Hereditary Breast Cancer Clinic, tick off the “Genetics” box in the Clinic Type section at the top of the form and complete reason for referral and include relevant documents. Typically this form is completed by a family physician, surgeon or oncologist. However, we do accept self-referrals (if warranted) to the Genetics/Hereditary Breast Cancer Clinic. In this case, the referring provider information is left blank.
Patients will need to complete a family history questionnaire before an appointment can be booked.