The Familial Cancer Centre offers a range of clinical services to people concerned about their risk of developing a cancer due to their family's history of cancer.
We have services for all areas of familial cancer, including breast/ovarian cancer, bowel cancer and prostate cancer:
- Risk assessment
- Genetic counselling and testing
- Options for risk management
- Advice about regular health checks
- Psychosocial support
- An optional reminder service about timing of tests
As part of the new Victorian Compressive Cancer Centre, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and The Royal Women’s Hospital are partnering to deliver a comprehensive and coordinated Familial Cancer service across the Parkville Precinct.Our clinicians and nursing consultants work across both Peter Mac and The Royal Melbourne Hospital as an integrated service.
Clinics are held in several metropolitan and regional locations in Victoria, including:
- The Royal Melbourne Hospital (City Campus)
- Peter MacCallum Cancer Center
- The Western Hospital (Footscray)
- Andrew Love Centre (Geelong Hospital)
- Warrnambool Community Health Centre (Warrnambool Base Hospital)
We support research in familial cancer and provide the opportunity to participate in research projects.
The RMH Familial Cancer Centre is a member of the Department of Human Services' Victorian Family Cancer Genetics Service.
Breast and ovarian cancer
A small number of families have a greater risk of breast and ovarian cancer because they carry an inherited altered gene.
Your patients may benefit from contacting us if they meet one or more of the following guidelines (on the same side of the family):
- multiple close relatives with breast or ovarian cancer
- a family member who developed breast cancer at less than 40 years of age and/or ovarian cancer at less than 50 years of age
- a family member who has had both breast and ovarian cancer or more than one breast cancer
- a male family member with breast cancer
- a family history of breast cancer or ovarian cancer and Jewish ancestry.
More detailed guidelines for referral can be found at eviQ (a one-off free account creation is required).
You can use Cancer Australia's online cancer risk assessment tool to assist in determining whether a referral is appropriate is also available from Cancer Australia.
For patients who are interested in finding out whether it may be appropriate to attend the Familial Cancer Clinic, please see Cancer Australia's Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk calculator.
Please note that this tool is just a guide and we recommend patients have a discussion with their GP as the preferred initial step.
Bowel Cancer is a common condition but in some families the risk is increased due to an inherited predisposition.
Family members who may be at increased risk include those with:
- multiple close relatives with bowel, uterine and ovarian cancers
- a family member who developed bowel cancer at less than 50 years of age or has had two or more bowel, uterine or ovarian cancers
- a relative with bowel cancer with a large number of adenomas (polyps) throughout the bowel.
Use Cancer Victoria's online cancer risk assessment tool to assist in determining whether a referral is appropriate.
Other reasons for patient’s contacting our service could be:
- several relatives have the same type of cancer
- a patient’s relative has been found to carry an altered gene
- if your patient is concerned about their family history and would like more information
We accept referrals for this service.
Referrals are triaged depending on priority. Emergency cases can present to the Emergency & Trauma Service at any time.
To refer a patient, complete and fax your referral to Genetic Medicine on (03) 9342 4267.
You can use the following form or a template from your own system.
Referrals should include:
- relevant clinical history for the patient
- the reason for referral
- patient details including address, date of birth and contact phone numbers
- your details and provider number
- the name of the consultant (for Medicare clinics)
Consider making referrals indefinite as investigations and genetic testing (where appropriate) can take some time.
Special referral instructions
We only accept referrals for patients considered at potentially high risk of cancer. Population/moderate risk families may be triaged back to the referring doctor for management if considered appropriate.
Referrals should include relevant personal and/or family history of cancer (noting the reason the person is considered at increased cancer risk).
Use the urgent specialist referral form for urgent genetics assessment.
Address referrals to the head of service, Prof Geoffrey Lindeman.