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 28 genes.

The Polyclinic Hereditary Cancer Risk Clinic, led by F. Ames Smith, Jr, MD, FACS, provides a multidisciplinary 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 goal is to help identify these genetic risks early and provide compassionate care in an encouraging, supportive environment.

Areas of Focus

Our focus is to identify and help manage risk for:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Colon Cancer
  • Uterine Cancer
  • Other Cancers

Our Services

The Hereditary Cancer Risk Clinic can help patients assess cancer risk, identify certain forms of inherited cancer syndromes, and develop a care plan for surveillance and prevention. We provide the following services:

  • Initial risk stratification based on review of family history.
  • 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 and surgical management of high-risk patients in coordination with the patient’s primary care provider. This can include 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. Our risk assessment form can help determine whether you should consider additional testing.

Risk Assessment for Hereditary Cancer

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

Prior to Your Appointment

If you meet the criteria for genetic testing, please watch this short video on hereditary cancer and write down questions. Find out which of your relatives have been affected and bring this information to your appointment including, age at diagnosis and type of cancer.

About The Hereditary Cancer Risk Clinic at The Polyclinic

F. Ames Smith, Jr, MD, FACS. developed the hereditary cancer screening clinic to create a program to help patients understand and manage their hereditary cancer risk. Dr. Smith works closely with regional and national genetic counselors as needed to establish detailed care plans for very high risk patients.

Working Together with Your Care Team

Dr. Smith works closely with patients’ primary care physician as well as plastic surgeons, gynecologists, 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.

Additional Resources

How to Access Services

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