The Polyclinic Hereditary Cancer Risk Clinic, led by F. Ames Smith, Jr, MD, FACS, assesses and manages patients who may be at increased risk for certain types of cancers, including breast, ovarian, uterine, colon, pancreatic, melanoma and prostate cancers. The HCRC team focuses on identifying significant risk factors for cancer, including possible genetic risk, and building a customized care plan with each patient to consider options for surveillance and risk reduction.
Knowing your specific risk for cancer can help you and your health care team manage your care and improves the likelihood of early detection or prevention. It can even help you understand whether your family members should be assessed for a genetic pre-disposition to certain types of cancer.
The Polyclinic HCRC provides the following services to assess and manage cancer risk:
- An initial review of cancer risk based on review of your family history and other risk factors
- An evaluation of the indication for and benefits of genetic testing in select cases
- Coordination with a certified lab to conduct genetic testing when indicated
- Interpretation and explanation of results using national guidelines
- Development of an individually tailored care plan based on your risk
- Medical and surgical management of all high-risk patients in coordination with your primary care provider
- Access to cancer screening and diagnostic tools such as MRI, CT scans, ultrasound, colonoscopy, mammography, or transvaginal ultrasound
Who Should Be Tested?
National guidelines recommend genetic testing for specific indications. If you meet these specific criteria, we recommend you have the genetic testing done by having a blood sample drawn that is sent to a certified lab.
At The Polyclinic, a simple online questionnaire is available to identify possible genetic risk. If you answer yes to any of the listed questions, you may benefit from further evaluation. We recommend that you call 206-860-5586 to make an appointment or talk to your primary care provider about your genetic risk for cancer.
Prior to Your Appointment
If you meet the criteria for genetic testing, please watch this short video on hereditary cancer and write down any questions you may have. Find out which of your relatives have been affected, their age at diagnosis and the type of cancer, and bring this information to your appointment.
Your initial evaluation will generally include a 20 to 30 minute conversation with Dr. Ames Smith and if indicated, a certified genetic counselor via teleconference.
If you meet the national criteria for genetic testing and you wish to proceed, we will submit a blood test. Results take about 2 to 3 weeks to get back to the office. You will be notified at that time and a specific care plan will be developed whether or not you have a gene mutation.
Patients with complex genetics may be referred to a genetic counselor for further consultation.
How to Access Services
Call to make an appointment at 206-860-5586 or talk to your primary care provider about your genetic cancer risk.