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.
The Familial Cancer Centre (FCC) provides the following services:
- 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. This means you may, from time-to-time, be seen by a new clinician or nursing consultant. Rest assured however that each member of our team will be fully apprised of your medical history and care plan.
Commonly asked questions
How do I arrange an appointment?
There are several ways:
- Ask your doctor to complete a referral form
- Ask your GP or specialist to send us a referral letter
- Call us directly
Should I attend alone or with another person?
This is up to you. You may bring your partner, a family member, a friend, or attend alone. Some people find a support person helpful or want to include a family member as the information may also be relevant to them. We may ask family members to arrange a referral for themselves.
What happens next?
- You may either be contacted by phone or you may be sent a family history questionnaire to collect some information about your family history of cancer, if it is known.
- A team of specialist will review your family history.
What happens at the appointment?
- The discussion is lead by your questions and concerns.
- You will meet with a genetic counsellor, a geneticist and/or another medical specialist such as a medical oncologist or gastroenterologist
- You may also meet with a different medical specialist depending on your needs
- The first appointment is about one hour
- A second appointment may be arranged, depending on your circumstances
The information discussed can include:
- An assessment of your family history of cancer
- Medical advice regarding cancer health checks
- Cancer, genetics, and genetic testing
What happens after an appointment?
- You and your doctors will receive a summary letter of the appointment
- You will be referred back to your current doctor(s) for your ongoing health needs
- You may choose to inform your family members about the outcome of your appointment
- You can arrange a further appointment, if you wish
- You or your doctors are welcome to contact us in the future with any questions or concerns
A visit to our centre is free, and all information is treated confidentially. Unless they specifically agree, we do not discuss a person's condition with other relatives.
What features are suggestive of a possible genetic cause?
- Breast cancer occurring before 40 years of age
- Ovarian cancer at any age
- Male breast cancer at any age
- Multiple close relative with breast or ovarian cancer
- One or more close relatives with breast or ovarian cancer and Ashkenazi Jewish ancestory
- Bowel or uterine cancer occurring before 50 years of age
- Multiple close relatives with bowel, uterine or ovarian cancer
- Multiple bowel polyps
- Several relatives who have had the same type of cancer (such as prostate cancer)
- Family histories suggestive of a rare cancer syndrome
Who can use our services
The Familial Cancer Centre can help you if you have questions and concerns about your personal and/ or family history of cancer.
We also coordinate services at Western Health (Footscray), Barwon Health (Geelong) and SouthWest Health (Warrnambool).
How to access this service
You need a referral from your GP or medical practitioner to access this service.
Your GP will fax your referral to the hospital. Once we receive the referral, we will send you a letter.
If there is a waiting list, you'll be advised what to do in your letter.
Referrals are current for 12 months from the date of issue, unless it is specified as "indefinite". Keep a copy of your referral, so you can easily ask your GP to renew your referral if you need to.
|Breast||City Campus||Familial Cancer Reception, Level 2 Centre||TUE|
|Breast/Ovarian Risk Management||City Campus||Familial Cancer Reception, Level 2 Centre||TUE|
|Colorectal||City Campus||Familial Cancer Reception, Level 2 Centre||MON|
|Mixed Breast/Colorectal||Western Hospital||THU|
|Mixed Breast/Colorectal||City Campus||Familial Cancer Reception, Level 2 Centre||THU|
|Mixed Breast/Colorectal/Rare||Warrnambool Hospital||THU, FRI|
|Mixed Breast/Colorectal/Rare||Geelong Hospital||FRI|
|Moderate Risk Phone||City Campus||Familial Cancer Reception, Level 2 Centre||THU|
|Ovarian||City Campus||Familial Cancer Reception, Level 2 Centre||THU|
|Rare Cancer||City Campus||Familial Cancer Reception, Level 2 Centre||MON|
What to bring
Every time you come to hospital
Every time you come to hospital for a test, day procedure, surgery or treatment, you should bring:
- Medicare card
- Health Care card (if you have one)
- Concession card (if you have one)
For a clinic appointment
If you come for a clinic appointment, you should also bring:
- Your letter
- Any special items listed on your letter
- Your appointment book
In a medical emergency, call 000. If you are feeling unwell, see your local GP or go to your local hospital Emergency department for help.