Cancer Risk Clinic Services

Cancer Risk Assessment

First, a team of experts will perform a comprehensive evaluation to determine whether you are at increased risk of cancer, and if so, for which types of cancer. The team (physicians and nurses with expertise in genetics as well as genetic counselors) may evaluate your family as well. If you have a family history of cancer, a detailed family profile will provide the basis for further recommendations. Team members will verify the type and frequency of cancer in your family, and identify any possible pattern of inheritance. Genetic tests are available for some hereditary forms of cancer and may be arranged after a clinic visit. In cases where tests are not yet available, blood may be obtained from selected family members and stored for future analysis.

University cancer risk clinic site »View additional information about the Cancer Risk Clinic on the Falk Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics and Global Health website

"What's really unique about us," says Olufunmilayo Olopade, MD, a nationally and internationally recognized researcher and director of the program, "is that we provide comprehensive, total risk assessment. We look at the genetics of the familial inheritance, primarily of breast, ovarian, colon, pancreatic, and endometrial cancers. But we look at other types of cancers as well, and we look at the patient as a whole."

"One patient was really concerned about breast cancer; but when we took a family history, we realized that she was more at risk for colon cancer. We sent her for a colon-screening test and, lo and behold, she had a small cancer. We were able to catch her cancer early when it was most curable."

Risk Reduction

After the team has determined where risks exist, they will develop a personalized risk reduction plan. Risk reduction strategies include:

  • Careful, systematic monitoring or periodic screening tests for early detection
  • Changes in diet, exercise, or other life-style factors
  • Cancer prevention drugs or procedures

Our staff will work with your primary care or referring physician to ensure that your care is seamless and to help your physician monitor your risk reduction plan. In addition, you may choose to join an ongoing study that will evaluate the effectiveness of the risk reduction strategies that you are following.

Pediatric Familial Cancer Clinic

Under the leadership of Kenan Onel, MD, PhD, this clinic works to assess cancer risk in families that have children with cancer. Comprehensive risk assessment includes evaluation for familial cancer syndromes, including:

  • Cowden's syndrome
  • Fanconi anemia
  • Gardner's syndrome
  • Li-Fraumeni syndrome
  • Turcot syndrome
  • Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome
  • Other rare cancers

» Learn more about the Familial Cancer Clinic

Other Services

  • Education about cancer risk and prevention
  • Counseling services