What Will Happen During Visits?
The first contact with the FCRS is by phone or in the clinic or hospital. Initially, we will answer questions you may have about the service and ask for some preliminary information regarding your family history. Information will then be sent to you to facilitate the collection of family/medical history prior to your first visit. The first visit usually lasts up to 2 hours and subsequent visits are shorter. During these visits:
- your medical and family histories will be obtained and a detailed family tree (pedigree) will be drawn.
- you will receive background information on cancer, cancer genetics, risk, and related topics.
- an individualized cancer risk assessment will be provided, based on analysis of collected information. (Sometimes a risk
- assessment is not possible during the first visit, particularly when more family history information is needed.)
- when appropriate, the option of genetic testing will be addressed, and if you elect to pursue genetic testing the FCRS will coordinate that for you.
- when the results of genetic testing are available, a consultation session is scheduled.
- strategies and options for cancer screening and risk reduction will be discussed, along with corresponding benefits, risks, and limitations.
- when indicated, the service can facilitate appropriate appointments with medical specialists.
What Information is Needed for an Evaluation?
To facilitate a more accurate cancer risk evaluation, we will ask you to collect family history information prior to your appointment. Important information includes:
- Who in the family has been diagnosed with cancer.
- Where their cancer(s) started (e.g. breast, colon), what type, and if it was present on both sides (for example, in both breasts or both ovaries) or in more than one place.
- How old they were when diagnosed with cancer (for each different cancer).
- Whether anyone in the family has undergone genetic testing.
Documentation of cancer diagnoses is an important part of the cancer risk assessment. Whenever possible, pathology records should be obtained for members of the family who have had cancer or suspected cancer. (In some cases, other medical records, death certificates, pathology specimens, etc. can be helpful.) Please contact us to arrange sending this information prior to your appointment.
If you would like to fill out our questionnaire in advance, please download the instructions and form below:
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center
Family Cancer Risk Service
Vanderbilt Health-One Hundred Oaks
719 Thompson Lane Suite 25107
Nashville, TN 37204
or toll-free (877) 688-7555