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Patients can self-refer or be referred by their GP or specialist if concerned about their cancer risk, or the risk for other family members when cancers, such as bowel and breast cancer, are diagnosed in the family.

The Cabrini Family Cancer Clinic offers hereditary cancer risk assessment by specialist genetic counsellors and oncologists for people concerned about their personal or family history of cancer. We aim to help people come to decisions about managing their risk of cancer with preventative and early detection strategies.

  • General Enquiries

  • Fax

    (03) 9508 3405

  • Operating Hours

    Monday – Friday

  • Referrals

    You will require a referral from a GP or a specialist to our service.

    In addition to the referral, you will be asked to provide information about your family history – via telephone and a follow-up questionnaire.  The implications of this information will be discussed in an appointment with a genetic counsellor and medical oncologist.

    There are no out of pocket expenses for an appointment in the Clinic. Genetic testing is also provided at no cost if the family meet the public testing criteria. Self-funded genetic testing can also be arranged.

    Your patient will require a referral to access our services. Please email the referral to lmckay@cabrini.com.au.

    The referral must include the following information:

    • Patient name
    • Patient identifiers: date of birth and Medicare number
    • Patient contact details
    • Copy of the cancer histopathology report

Information for Patients

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

Who to refer?

All of the people who fall into the categories below warrant a referral to a family cancer clinic for genetic counselling and risk management advice:

Individual characteristics:

  • Breast cancer under age 35
  • Male breast cancer
  • Multiple primary tumours (excluding lung and skin) under age 70 (e.g. breast and ovarian, fallopian tube, primary peritoneal, endometrial and colorectal cancer)
  • Colorectal cancer under age 40
  • Rare tumour (phaeochromocytoma, paraganglioma, sarcoma, glioblastoma, choroid plexus carcinoma, adrenal cancer, retinoblastoma) under age 45

Family history characteristics:

  • Blood relative of a known carrier of a mutation in a high-risk breast cancer predisposition gene (eg BRCA1, BRCA2)
  • Blood relative of a known carrier of a mutation in a high-risk colorectal cancer predisposition gene (e.g. APC, MYH, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, PMS2)
  • Blood relative of a known carrier of mutation in other high-risk predisposition genes (e.g. TP53, PTEN, VHL, SDHA, B, C or D, and NF2)
  • Personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer, and Ashkenazi Jewish ethnicity
  • Two or more first- or second-degree relatives on the same side of the family with CRC or endometrial cancer with one diagnosed under age 50
  • Two or more first- or second-degree relatives on the same side of the family with either breast cancer under age 50 and/or ovarian cancer at any age
  • Rare tumour (phaeochromocytoma, paraganglioma, sarcoma, glioblastoma, choroid plexus carcinoma, adrenal cancer, retinoblastoma) at any age and a close relative with similar tumour

Tumour pathology characteristics:

  • Epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer ≤70 years
  • Triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) ≤40 years at diagnosis (TNBC: oestrogen, progesterone and HER2 receptor negative)