Genetic Assessment and Counselling

Most cases of breast cancer are not hereditary. However, about 5 to 10% of cases appear to have a hereditary connection. Through genetic counselling and risk assessment we aim to identify people with an increased risk for inherited cancer.
Certain genes, when mutated (a change in the DNA of a gene), put us at a higher risk for cancer. These genes are inherited from our parents and can be passed on to our children.

A genetic risk assessment helps to determine whether someone is eligible for genetic testing. This information may help individuals and their care providers determine the best treatment options. If you have a family history of breast cancer you may wish to consider a referral for a genetic risk assessment.

Genetic risk assessment and counselling is available at The Charlotte and Lewis Steinberg Familial Breast and Ovarian Cancer Clinic on the 3rd floor at North York General Hospital. Please have your doctor fax a referral form to the clinic.

Preparing for your visit

What to expect

  • You will be asked what family members have cancer including the type of cancer and the age at diagnosis. This information may be collected by phone or questionnaire before your visit.
  • An appointment will be arranged for you to meet with a genetic counsellor.
  • A personalized family assessment will be done and will include discussing you and your family's eligibility for testing.

Questions for your genetic counsellor

  • What are the pros and cons of doing genetic testing? How can this information help me in my treatment plan?
  • When will my results be explained to me and by whom?
Please contact The Charlotte and Lewis Steinberg Familial Breast and Ovarian Cancer Clinic if you have any questions or concerns.