Certain hereditary factors can increase risk for various types of cancer. A blood test when evaluated by a certified lab, can help determine an individual’s hereditary risk by analyzing 25 genes. The Polyclinic Hereditary Cancer Risk Clinic provides a multi-disciplinary approach to help individuals and families manage genetic risk of various types of cancer through counseling, screening and individual care plans. Early detection, along with regular screenings and important lifestyle changes, can reduce the risk of developing certain cancers. Our Hereditary Cancer Risk Clinic team’s goal is to help identify these genetic risks early and provide compassionate care in an encouraging, supportive environment.

Our focus is to identify and help manage risk for:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Colon Cancer
  • Uterine Cancer

Our nurse practitioner, Rachel Gorham, WHNP-BC, works in concert with the patient’s primary care physician as well as breast surgeons, plastic surgeons, gastroenterologists, colon and rectal surgeons and other specialists as appropriate, to manage hereditary cancer risk. Patients with complex genetics may be referred to a genetic counselor for further consultation. We work with our patients to review and implement options for surveillance and prevention.

What We Do

The Hereditary Cancer Risk Clinic helps patients assess cancer risk as well as identify certain forms of inherited cancer syndromes. Our team provides the following services:

  • Initial risk stratification based on review of family history.
  • For female patients, we recommend that you take the risk assessment quiz at If your risk is intermediate or high, we request that you download a PDF, print and bring this to your appointment.
  • Helps patients understand the benefits and consequences of genetic testing.
  • Works with a certified lab to conduct your genetic test and helps interpret and explain results and form a care plan for patients and families.
  • Provides medical management of high risk patients in coordination with the patient’s primary care provider. This might include more regular cancer screenings such as MRI/CT scans, ultrasound, colonoscopy, mammography, or transvaginal ultrasound. In some cases, patients may benefit from preventive surgery. Patients should check insurance benefits if additional screening is needed, as it is not always covered.

Who Should Be Tested

Risk for breast, ovarian, uterine, and colon cancers can be influenced by a number of factors. The Polyclinic Risk Assessment (below) is short quiz to help determine whether you should consider additional testing.

The Polyclinic Risk Assessment for Hereditary Cancer Form

If you answer "yes" to any of the questions, please schedule an appointment and print and bring this form with you.

Additional Resources

How to Access Services

  • Call to make an appointment with Rachel Gorham at 206-860-5586
  • Please discuss with your primary care physician.