Information for Doctors
It is important that doctors accurately assess a patient’s personal and family history of cancer to identify those who need a referral to a family cancer clinic. Family cancer clinics will estimate an individual’s cancer risk, and provide advice on risk-reduction strategies and the relevance of genetic testing.
There are two stages to genetic testing:
Mutation search: This will usually involve testing a blood sample from an affected family member in the first instance. This test determines whether a gene mutation that causes the increased risk of cancer for that family can be identified.
Predictive test: This is only available to family members when a mutation has already been found in a mutation search. This test determines whether or not the patient actually has the family gene mutation.
Patient triage will be rapid and subsequent counselling and testing done in a timely fashion. The referral must include the following:
- Patient name
- Patient identifiers: date of birth and Medicare number
- Patient contact details
- Copy of the cancer histopathology report