St Mark's HospitalLondon North West Healthcare

The Family Cancer Clinic

The Family Cancer Clinic at St Mark’s Hospital looks after patients with a family history of colorectal cancer (also known as bowel cancer).

We assess familial risk by asking for a detailed history of the cancers within a family. If appropriate, we then undertake genetic testing of tumours or blood samples from affected family members to diagnose conditions such as Lynch syndrome. We then assess the individual’s risk and recommend a management plan that may include regular colonoscopy.

Families who are diagnosed with a Polyposis syndrome (Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, Juvenile Polyposis syndrome, MYH associated polyposis and Serrated Polyposis syndrome) are cared for by the Polyposis Registry at St Mark’s Hospital (LINK)

These leaflets are available to provide information on various aspects of familial risk of colorectal cancer:

Referral Guidelines (PDF)

Bowel Cancer and Genetics (PDF)

Cancer Tissue Studies (PDF)

Lynch syndrome (PDF)

Hereditary mixed polyposis syndrome (PDF)

The Family Cancer Clinic was started in 1985 as part of the then Imperial Cancer Research Fund Colorectal Cancer Unit at St Mark’s. Its aim was, and still is, to define the inherited predispositions to colorectal cancer and to refine our management of familial risk in order to prevent colorectal cancer.

The Clinic is now NHS-funded as part of St Mark’s Hospital. We continue to have a major interest in research into the assessment of familial risk, the identification of genes predisposing to colorectal cancer and in the use colonoscopy and chemoprevention with aspirin to prevent colorectal cancer developing.

We have permission from the Secretary of State for Health, on the advice of the Confidentiality Advisory Group, to share patients’ identifiable data (NHS Number, name and date of birth) with NHS Digital in order to receive information from NHS Digital on cancers that develop in our cohort of patients who are undergoing colonoscopic surveillance for an increased familial risk of colorectal cancer [and details of any deaths including date and cause]. This is to ensure that we have an up-to-date and complete set of information. This is important as this might lead to a change in the surveillance protocol for the patient and / or their family. It also allows us to trace patients who have been lost to follow-up.

The data is used to support the surveillance programme only and is not shared with any third party organisations in identifiable form. Data from which the identifiers have been removed and replaced with a unique patient ID is shared with a statistician at Queen Mary University of London who supports the Family Cancer Clinic by analysing the outcomes of colonoscopic surveillance in different familial risk groups and in different genetic conditions. The data is not otherwise shared with any other third parties.

If you have any queries about this or do not wish us to receive this information from NHS Digital please email the Family Cancer Clinic on the address below. We can withdraw your name so that we do not receive the information. Your colonoscopic surveillance protocol will be unaffected but we may not have a complete data set in the future and may not be able to contact you if you move to a new address without letting us know.

Location Within Hospital

The Family Cancer Clinic offices are based in Level 5 of St Mark’s Hospital. Patients may be seen either in Outpatients (Level 3) or on the wards

Key contacts

General Enquiries:    020 8235 4266
Fax:                               020 8235 4277

The team:

Professor Huw Thomas
Director and Consultant Physician

Dr Andrew Latchford
Assistant Director and Consultant Gastroenterologist

Demetra Georgiou
Genetic Counsellor

Julie Jeffries and Elizabeth Goodband

Biannual Research Reports:

St Mark’s Family Cancer Clinic 2012-2013 (PDF)
St Mark’s Family Cancer Clinic 2014-2015 (PDF)

Referral Guidelines