SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, September 25 (EUROPA PRESS) –
Two hundred and seven families have been studied in the Genetic Counseling Consultation of the Canary Islands University Hospital Complex (HUC), whose purpose is to advise families in which the presence of pathogenic variants has been identified, those that predispose to a greater risk of development of cancer throughout life.
This advice is based on prevention measures both in the form of monitoring, established with a frequency and specific complementary tests that seek an early diagnosis, as well as prophylactic surgical treatment.
Healthy patients or patients with a diagnosis of neoplasia come to this consultation from different areas, through outpatient consultation with their primary care doctor and other specialties of the hospital itself. For example, women diagnosed with breast cancer, ovarian cancer or tumors related to the well-known hereditary breast/ovarian cancer syndrome.
These people are initially assessed in the nursing consultation where they are explained the reason why they are there, the possibility of having a genetic study performed and what this means for both the patient and the family. Cancer diagnoses in the family, age of diagnosis and ideally a minimum of three generations are collected to create a family tree, a fundamental tool in a genetic counseling consultation for decision making.
Although initially, in 2003, the consultation began with only an oncologist, nursing was soon added for the initial interview and preparation of the family tree, and advice prior to the assessment in a clinical session. Subsequently, as it grew, a multidisciplinary team was formed, made up of different specialists from other services directly involved, such as, in addition to Medical Oncology, the Genetics Unit of the Central Laboratory and the Digestive, Endocrinology and Gynecology services.
The meetings are weekly, the case of each family is commented and discussed, thus adopting the plan to follow in each case. These decisions are based on the recommendations of the different guidelines, thus reaching the conclusion of whether it is necessary to carry out a genetic study or not.
The formation of this multidisciplinary team has allowed us to grow, both in the possible diversity of opinions and in the decision to include or not different genetic panels always adapted to our population. These panels have been carried out since 2012 in the Genetics Unit of this hospital; initially the samples were sent to the Oncology Research Center (CNIO).
Over time, the quality of care for these families in which the diagnosis of cancer in one of their members has become hereditary has improved.