Both genetic and environmental factors play roles in the development of cancer, to varying extents.
When genetic factors are significantly tied to the development of cancer, this can lead to what is known as “familial cancer” or “hereditary cancer,” where many relatives within the same extended family may develop cancer.
Recent advances in molecular genetics have elucidated the cause of familial cancers: it is now known that mutations in certain genes can play a role in the development of cancer.
Amid these medical advances, we opened the Cancer Genetic Counseling Department at the Comprehensive Cancer Center in April 2015 to meet the needs of patients with familial cancers and their families; since 2020, it has operated as the Genetic Oncology Center.
Our clinical genetic specialists and specialists from various medical departments provide thoughtful explanations (genetic counseling) regarding cancer genetics and genetic testing, and perform genetic testing based on patients’ wishes, with proper consideration for any ethical issues.
To provide patients with psychological support, neuropsychiatrists and nurses are active participants in our treatment team.
At present, we provide genetic counseling and genetic testing for patients, and families of patients, with a focus on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome (HBOC) and Lynch syndrome (a hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer, or HNPCC); we plan to further expand to other target tumors in the future.
To Request Cancer Genetic Counseling
When providing genetic counseling to patients who are concerned that they may have familial cancer, we start by asking if any extended family members (grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, siblings, children, etc.) have had similar cancers, and create a family tree based on the details.
This information is used to determine if the patient has familial cancer; if it raises a strong suspicion that there is a familial cancer, then we provide the patient with further information on that cancer.
We also carefully explain the significance of, and precautions regarding, genetic testing, and perform genetic tests when necessary.
When patients undergo genetic testing, we provide a detailed explanation of the results at a later date. These include information about what future disease developments to expect and actions to take, as well as health risks that relatives may face.
Reservations are required in order to request genetic counseling.
Further Information on Applying for Genetic Counseling at Toyama University Hospital
Specific Medical Fields
Advanced Breast Cancer Treatment and Breast Reconstruction Center Pancreas and Biliary Tract Center Pediatrics, AYA Generation, and Fertility Center Robotic Surgery Center Radiotherapy Center Oncothermia Center Blood Oncology Center Head and Neck Oncology Center Chest Oncology Center Gastrointestinal Oncology Center Urological Oncology Center Gynecological Oncology Center Sarcoma and Rare Cancer Center Genetic Oncology Center
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