The Cancer Genetics Clinic is part of Stanford's
Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated center
offering genetic counseling and testing for individuals concerned with
the risk of an inherited cancer predisposition. The clinic staff
includes medical oncologists, genetic counselors, and geneticists.
Genetics is the branch of medicine concerned with how hereditary and
genetic factors play a role in causing a disease, birth defect, or
inherited susceptibility to a health problem such as cancer.
Cancers develop due to alterations (mutations) in genes, that when
working properly promote normal, controlled cell growth. Only a small
percentage of cancers involve inherited mutations that are passed from
generation to generation.
The majority of cancers can be attributed to acquired mutations.
"Acquired" means that the mutations occur only in the tissue
that is affected by cancer (for example, colon cancer cells), and are
not passed to children. These changes occur at the cellular level
after birth, as a result of environmental exposures (such as smoking),
lifestyle behaviors (such as eating poorly or not exercising), or
chance alone. Mutations in a person's DNA accumulate over time. If
mutations affect genes that control cell growth this may cause a cell
to grow out of control, and to ultimately become a cancer cell.
Therefore, all cancers are genetic, in that they develop because of
an accumulation of mutations in genes, but most are not inherited. The
percentage of cancers that result from a single inherited factor
varies depending on the type of tumor. For the more common cancer
types, like breast and colon cancer, less than 10% are inherited.
The Human Genome Project began in 1990 with the goal of mapping the
location of all of the genes on a cell's chromosomes. This monumental
achievement will give scientists the building blocks to determine how
diseases such as cancer are caused and hopefully, how to treat them
and, ultimately, prevent them.
James Ford, MD, director of the Stanford Cancer Genetics Program, has always been fascinated with figuring out how genetics influences cancer. His interest is in working with families to lower their risk of familial cancer.
This video explains how genetic counselors at Stanford’s Cancer Genetics Clinic help families understand if they have a hereditary cancer syndrome and an elevated risk for colon cancer.
Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you may have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.
Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.
See the BRCA
Decision Tool which guides the management of cancer risks for
BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers.
Please fax the Medical Record Release Form to your new patient
coordinator. The medical release form is an authorization form for
external facilities to release medical records to Stanford Health Care
(formerly Stanford Hospital & Clinics).
Stanford Health Care (formerly Stanford Hospital & Clinics)
provides comprehensive services to refer and track patients, as well
as provides the latest information and news for physicians and office
staff. For help with all referral needs and questions visit Referring Physicians.
HOW TO REFER
Fax a referral form with supporting documentation to 650-320-9443.
Please note, though this form is from Stanford Health Care (formerly
Stanford Hospital & Clinics), it is also used for all Cancer
Track your patients' progress and communicate with Stanford providers