Clinical Genetics referrals

Referrals will only be accepted from health professionals in writing. You may also wish to download one of our family history forms to give directly to your patient, if appropriate.

Urgent referrals, for example during a pregnancy, can be seen within a few days at Birmingham Women’s Hospital – please mark such referrals as urgent.

Please provide as much information as possible in your referral letter including;

  • Patient’s contact details and NHS number
  • Medical history
  • Any known family history (including names if known)
  • Copies of relevant investigations
  • If there are language or learning difficulties
  • Any pertinent social issues.

We also offer healthcare professionals a telephone consultation service (between 9am and 5pm on weekdays). Outside these hours there is an answer phone service.

Referrals for Inherited Cancers

West Midlands Family Cancer Service
Clinical Genetics Unit
Birmingham Women’s Hospital
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TG
United Kingdom

Telephone: 0121 607 4757

Referrals for all other conditions

Clinical Genetics Unit
Birmingham Women’s Hospital
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TG
United Kingdom

Telephone: 0121 335 8024

Referral guidelines for the cancer genetics service

Less than 10% of all cancer is due to an inherited pre-disposition, however many individuals have concerns about a family history of cancer.

It is unlikely that familial cancer clusters are inherited if: different cancer sites are involved, the cancers occur later in life, or the cancers have a strong environmental influence such as smoking or UV light.

Guidelines for Breast Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Breast and Ovarian Cancer, Colorectal Cancer and Other Cancers are listed below. The overall benefit of surveillance outside these guidelines has not been established. If you are unsure, please call 0121 335 8024 and ask for the cancer genetics service (WMFACS) for advice.

Please note close relatives are mother, father, sibling, child, parent’s siblings or grandparents.

Breast Cancer

  • One affected individual with medullary/basal or triple negative under 40
  • One first degree relative, age under the age of 40
  • One close relative with bilateral disease first cancer diagnosed under 50
  • One close male relative, any age
  • Two close relatives (including one first degree), average age below 50
  • Three close relatives (including one first degree), average age under 60
  • 4 or more reports on one side of the family

Ovarian Cancer

  • One ovarian cancer (papillary serous, epithelial origin). There is little benefit in referring unless there is a living affected relative
  • Two close relatives with ovarian cancer under 70

Breast and Ovarian Cancer

  • Minimum of one of each tumour; both under the age of 70

Colorectal Cancer

  • One first degree relative age under 45
  • Two close relatives (including one first degree) average age under 60 (includes both parents)
  • Three or more close relatives with other gastrointestinal, renal, urinary tract, uterine or ovarian cancer at any age, or two average age below 60
  • Familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) or other single gene polyposis disorder

Other Cancers

  • Multiple primary cancers in one individual
  • Three or more relatives with cancers at the same site
  • Three or more relatives with cancer at an earlier age than expected in the general population
  • Three or more relatives with cancers of breast/ovary/prostate/ pancreas/ melanoma/thyroid/sarcoma/adrenal cortical tumours, or other non-melanoma skin tumours or carcinoma
  • Renal cancer below 50

The overall benefit of surveillance outside these guidelines has not been established