Some cancers ALWAYS warrant a referral to a Genetic Oncologist
5 to 10% of more common cancers (such as breast or bowel cancers) are due to inherited mutations in key genes.
By contrast, in certain rare tumours, or rare types of more common cancers, an inherited cause is significantly more likely - sometimes 50% or more!
Patients who are diagnosed with these cancers or tumours should always be referred to a Genetic Oncologist, even if the diagnosis was many years ago.
The tumours include:
- Adrenocortical carcinoma, especially in children
- Carcinoid tumours of the thymic gland
- Diffuse gastric cancer, especially if associated with a personal and/or family history of lobular breast cancer
- Cancer of the fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer
- Leiomyosarcoma with multiple skin leiomyomas
- Medullary thyroid cancer
- Triple negative breast cancer diagnosed before age 50
- A pheochromocytoma or a paraganglioma
- High grade serous ovarian cancer diagnosed before age 60
- Kidney cancer / kidney tumour that is of a specific rare histology: chromophobe, hybrid oncoctyotic or oncocytoma.
Referral to a Genetic Oncologist is important because the patient, as well as their family members, may be at high risk of other cancers or tumours.
Also, many inherited cancer syndromes have proven strategies, such as surveillance or even risk reducing surgery, that can significant reduce the risk of cancer.