Genetic clinic

What is the genetics clinic?

The clinic is part of the Genetics Department at Guy's Hospital, London, and is staffed by doctors and genetic counsellors, both of whom specialise in seeing people with a family history of cancer. You will be invited to either the clinic at Guy’s Hospital itself, or to the outreach clinic held at Faversham Health Centre at regular intervals.

Why have I been referred to the genetics clinic?

When you have a strong family history of ovarian, or other cancers, it is normally suggested that you are referred to this specialist clinic. This is so your family history can be looked at in greater depth, and investigations can be carried out to find out whether the cancers in your family are inherited.

What should I expect to happen at the genetics clinic?

  • Expect your appointment to last about an hour
  • The doctor or genetic counsellor will ask you about your family history and draw a more detailed family tree
  • Based on what you tell them, the genetic counsellor or doctor will assess the risk to yourself and members of your family of the cancer being inherited
  • Having assessed your risk, the options that are available to you for early detection of cancer
  • For some people it is possible to carry out a test to find out whether they have inherited a genetic tendency to cancer. The clinician will talk to you about genetic testing and whether it would be appropriate to you. This test is not available to everyone, and it does depend on your family history
  • Normally a blood sample will not be taken on your first visit.

Should I bring anything with me?

It would be helpful if you can take along as much information as possible about your relatives who have had cancer.

What happens next?

You will receive an appointment to attend the genetics clinic either at Guy's Hospital or at the Faversham Health Centre. If your appointment is at Guy's Hospital and you cannot make it to Guy's Hospital, you are advised to telephone the Genetics Department and ask for an appointment to be made for the Faversham Clinic. The Faversham clinics are not held so often, so there may be a delay before you can be given an appointment.

If you are unable to attend your appointment please let the appointments secretary know as soon as possible.

It is important to remember that most cancer is not inherited.

For further information about being referred to the genetics clinic please contact Trish Swift on 01843 234343.