Doctor speaks to a patient in the Family Cancer Clinic

Genetics: Family Cancer Clinic

The Family Cancer Clinic is for those whose personal and family history of cancer may be due to a hereditary cancer syndrome.

How will I know if I should see the Family Cancer Clinic?

Most people diagnosed with cancer do not need genetic testing. In some situations your doctor may discuss or refer you for genetic testing when you are first diagnosed with cancer, as in some cases it can help them to decide on the treatment that would be best for you.

The service provides a cancer risk assessment, genetic counselling (where appropriate), genetic testing and advice on how to manage your cancer risk.

How do I get referred to the service?

You and/or your family members must be referred to the service by a doctor. This could be your GP or a member of your cancer treating team.

If you think you and your family might benefit from attending the service please speak to your doctor.

Before your appointment

You be contacted by a member of our team who will ask questions and/or send you a questionnaire to complete about your personal and family history of cancer. This information is required so we can provide accurate assessment and advice. Once enough information has been collected to provide an assessment you will be offered an appointment.

On the day of your appointment

You will meet with a genetic counsellor or medical specialist who will provide;

  • information about genetics and inheritance
  • an assessment of whether you and/or close family members are at an increased risk (chance) of developing specific types of cancer due to your personal or family history of cancer
  • recommended ways to manage any increased cancer risks; for example, screening to aid early detection of cancer and/or ways to reduce cancer risk (prevention)
  • options regarding genetic testing to determine if a hereditary cancer syndrome can be identified. Not all families will benefit from genetic testing.
  • an opportunity to discuss any concerns you have about your family history, genetic testing, or managing an increased cancer risk.

Appointments last 45 minutes to an hour. You are welcome to bring a support person or a family member. If you are bringing a family member please contact our service beforehand.

There are no out of pocket costs for attending a consultation as long as you are covered by Medicare.


Austin Health Clinical Genetics Service

+ 61 3 9496 3027

Austin Health runs Family Cancer Clinics at a number of metropolitan and regional locations:

Metropolitan locations

  • Austin Hospital, including in the ONJ Centre
  • Northern Hospital

Regional locations

  • Shepparton: Wyndham House Clinic, 96 Maude Street, Shepparton 
  • Ballarat - Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre (BRICC)  1 Drummond Street North, Ballarat 
  • Albury/Wodonga -  Border Medical Oncology, Albury Wodonga Regional Cancer Centre, cnr Borella Rd and Keene St,  Albury

(Please note that all referrals should be sent to Austin Health.)



Once you have been diagnosed with cancer, your doctor or specialist can make a referral to the ONJ Centre for your cancer treatment. You can ask to be referred here, regardless of your insurance status or the stage of your treatment. The ONJ Centre is part of Austin Health, a leading Australian public hospital.

How to get a referral