Family cancer centres

The Victorian Family Cancer Genetics Service is for those worried about their risk of cancer because of their family history of cancer. Services include testing, medical advice, counselling, support and the chance to take part in research.

Family cancer centres provide services from sites in metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. A visit is free and confidential. Interpreters are available

Genetics Health Services Victoria (GHSV)
Familial Cancer Centre
10th floor, Royal Children’s Hospital
Flemington Rd, Parkville VIC 3052
Ph: (03) 8341 6201
Fax: (03) 8341 6390
www.rch.org.au/ccc/

Genetics Medicine and Familial Cancer Centre
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Level 2, 300 Grattan St, Parkville VIC 3050
Ph: (03) 9342 7151
Fax: (03) 9342 4267
Email: familycancer@mh.org.au
www.thermh.org.au/health-professionals/clinical-services/genetic-medicine/familial-cancer-centre

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
305 Grattan Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Ph: (03) 8559 5000
Fax: (03) 8559 7371
www.petermac.org/

Austin Health Genetic Service
1st Floor, Building 6, Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital
300 Waterdale Road
Heidelberg West VIC 3081
Ph: (03) 9496 3027
Fax: (03)9496 4385
www.austin.org.au/page?ID=165

Southern Health Familial Cancer Centre
Special Medicine Building
Monash Medical Centre
246 Clayton Rd, Clayton VIC 3168
Ph: (03) 9594 2009
Fax: (03) 9594 6046

Appointments

If you're concerned about your family's cancer history, discuss it with your doctor who can refer you to a family cancer centre. Some centres don't require referrals and will accept direct appointments.

If you're referred, a staff member from the centre may contact you to discuss your family history before your appointment. The person you speak to may discuss sending you a family history questionnaire and consent forms to complete.

What happens next? 

You may see a genetic counsellor, medical geneticist (a doctor trained in genetics), and other medical specialists such as an oncologist, surgeon or gastroenterologist.

Your family history will be reviewed and you'll be given an estimate of your inherited risk of cancer. Follow-up and options for early detection and prevention will be discussed. The first appointment will take about an hour. You may need to visit the centre more than once.

After you attend a centre you and your doctor will each receive a detailed letter about your visit. This will include recommendations for follow-up care.

Genetic testing

Depending on your family history, it may be possible to have a genetic test to determine if you've inherited a high risk of cancer. This will be discussed at your appointment. Genetic testing is arranged by the family cancer centre and is offered only with counselling, so you can talk about limitations and potential benefits.

Updated: 27 Sep, 2016