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Hereditary Cancer Clinic

The UCSF Hereditary Cancer Clinic offers patients and families with genetic mutations linked to hereditary cancers – such as mutations of the BRCA gene – personalized care and planning for their long-term health. Our services include:

  • Genetic counseling and testing for patients and families
  • Coordination of follow-up care, including cancer prevention and surveillance, with referrals to other specialty clinics at UCSF as needed

The clinic is part of the UCSF Center for BRCA Research. Our team of clinicians and investigators is dedicated to developing new treatments, improving patient outcomes and survival rates, and providing more personalized care to families who carry mutations linked to hereditary cancers.

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What to expect

If you have never had genetic testing, the genetic counselor will review your family history and share information about hereditary cancer. Your counselor will discuss the potential benefits and limitations of genetic testing and help you consider these, along with your medical and personal factors. If you decide to have genetic testing, the counselor will arrange it for you.

We will collect a blood or saliva sample and send it to a specialized laboratory where it will be tested for the hereditary cancer mutation. In some cases, based on your personal and family medical history, the genetic counselor may recommend additional testing.

If you have previously had a genetic test showing a mutation, the genetic counselor will review any new questions you have, share recent advances relevant to your situation, and review current recommendations for cancer monitoring and prevention. This is also a good opportunity to consider whether you have relatives who have not been tested and might also benefit from testing.

Our knowledge of and recommendations for hereditary cancer are changing quickly as the research evolves. We invite all our patients to enroll in a long-term follow-up protocol that will allow us to use your information anonymously in research on hereditary cancer. Through this protocol, we will periodically send you updates about advances in hereditary cancer and also request occasional updates from you about your family. Your genetic counselor can tell you more about this and other research opportunities during your appointment.

Before your appointment

Please send us a copy of the results of any previously performed genetic testing for you or your biologically related family members. If you have difficulty getting original lab reports, our assistant can help you.

We will email you a link to a family history questionnaire, or if you prefer, we can mail you a paper copy. Please complete the questionnaire before your appointment.

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    • usnews-neurology

      Among the top hospitals in the nation

    • Best in Northern California and No. 7 in the nation for cancer care

    Accreditations & memberships

    • National Cancer Institute

      The National Cancer Institute has designated UCSF a comprehensive cancer center, its highest ranking. This designation is awarded to centers that demonstrate scientific excellence and the ability to conduct cancer research across many disciplines.

    • Commission on Cancer

      UCSF's cancer programs have been accredited by the American College of Surgeons' Commission on Cancer (CoC) since 1933. The CoC is a consortium of groups dedicated to improving cancer patients' survival and quality of life via research, education and better medical care.

    • National Comprehensive Cancer Network

      UCSF is a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, an alliance of the world’s top cancer centers. The network brings together leaders in treatment and research to improve the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of cancer care.

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    Preparing for your appointment

    What to Bring

    • Photo I.D.
    • Health insurance card
    • Insurance authorization, if required
    • Doctor's referral, if required
    • Recent test results related to your condition
    • List of your medications, including dosages, plus any you're allergic to
    • List of questions you may have
    • Device or paper for taking notes

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    Bakar Precision Cancer Medicine Building

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    Our research initiatives

    • UCSF-Center-for-BRCA-Research-2x

      UCSF Center for BRCA Research

      The UCSF Center for BRCA Research is working to discover which types of cancer – beyond breast and ovarian cancers – may be associated with mutations in the BRCA genes, and whether other factors impact risk.

    • UCSF-Helen-Diller-Family-Comprehensive-Cancer-Center-Research-2x

      UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Research

      UCSF is home to a range of research initiatives aimed at improving outcomes for cancer patients everywhere. This includes research on topics such as immunotherapy, BRCA mutations and molecular diagnostic testing.

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