The Macmillan Cancer Family History Service provides a comprehensive service for individuals concerned about their family history of cancer.
The service provides risk assessment, access to appropriate surveillance, information, support and possible genetic testing to families where necessary.
We also link in with primary and secondary care teams, providing them with specialist advice and education on current guidelines and how to access the service.
It covers the whole of the cancer network including North Tees, Hartlepool, Darlington, Bishop Auckland, Durham Dales, Northallerton, Newcastle, Sunderland and Cumbria.
- Two genetic risk assessment practitioners
- Two information co-ordinators
- One secretary
- Two general admin assistants who work closely with the clinical geneticist
- Two genetic counsellors
What happens after a referral?
Following referral or self referral, a family history questionnaire is sent to collect as much information as possible about the cancers in the individual and/or their family.
The team gathers information from various sources to confirm the reported diagnoses.
Individuals are then assigned a level of risk:
- Patients at low risk can be reassured they require no surveillance and no genetic counselling.
- Patients at moderately increased risk will be given an appointment with the genetic risk assessment practitioners to discuss the risk assessment and entered into an appropriate disease surveillance programme.
- Patients at high risk of cancer will be offered an appointment with a genetic counsellor or consultant clinical geneticist. They will be given information about their risk, surveillance, genetic testing and risk reducing surgery if necessary.
There are some individuals from whom no accurate risk assessment can be made, or who have extremely rare cancer predisposition syndromes. Their management will be tailored to their need. These individuals will be seen by the consultant clinical geneticist.
Clinics are held twice weekly at James Cook.
To discuss a family history of cancer please contact the service on:
Office hours are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. Outside of these hours messages are recorded by answerphone.