The Family Cancer Clinic at St Mark’s, the National Bowel Hospital, looks after patients with a family history of colorectal cancer (also known as bowel cancer), and other inherited cancers of the gastrointestinal tract (the gut).
We also provide a specialist service for people with Lynch Syndrome which you can click to read more about the Lynch Syndrome Clinic.
You may be seen in clinic by a doctors, nurse, or a genetic counsellor, and sometimes other healthcare professionals. As well as face to face clinics at St Mark’s Hospital, we also have telephone clinics.
We assess familial cancer risk by asking for a detailed history of the cancers within a family. We will ask you to complete a family history questionnaire before we see you in clinic, and this questionnaire is available here: Cancer genetics clinic questionnaire
If appropriate, we then undertake genetic testing of tumours or blood samples either from you or from other family members affected with cancer. This may help diagnose or rule out conditions such as Lynch syndrome.
We aim to assess an individual’s risk (and their family’s risk) of cancer, and use this information to recommend a life-long ‘management ‘plan with the aim of early diagnosis and prevention of cancer. The management plan may include preventative strategies such as lifestyle advice, medication or check-ups with colonoscopy.
As well as clinics at St Mark’s Hospital, we also have monthly multidisciplinary outreach clinics at West Middlesex University Hospital and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.
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.
The Bobby Moore Database
If you attend this clinic we will maintain a confidential record of your personal and family history on a cancer registry called the Bobby Moore Database. This helps to ensure that your colonoscopy is performed in a timely fashion, and that the results of colonoscopy are monitored. We also use this registry regularly review whether further genetic testing may be helpful in people known to our service. There is good evidence that the use of cancer registries reduces the risk of people developing cancer and also improve the likelihood of people surviving cancer.
We may also invite people in the registry to patient information events.
We have permission to process personal data under Articles 6 and 9 of the General Data Protection Regulation.
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 retained on the LNWHNT’s clinical IT system.
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 Kings College 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.
We are compliant with the Data Protection Act. If you are unhappy with any aspect of the use of your data you may contact the Data Protection Officer at London North West University NHS Trust:
We work together with colleagues in the polyposis registry as part of a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, genetic counsellors, clinical geneticists and others who work towards lifelong cancer prevention in those with an increased risk of cancer.
Families who are diagnosed with a Polyposis syndromes (Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, Peutz-Jeghers syndrome, Juvenile Polyposis syndrome, MUTYH-associated polyposis and Serrated Polyposis Syndrome) are cared for by the Polyposis Registry at St Mark’s Hospital.
Location within the hospital
Patients may be seen either in Outpatients (Level 3) or on the wards. The Family Cancer Clinic offices are based in Level 5 of St Mark’s Hospital.
Get in touch
If you are known to the Family Cancer Clinic, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you feel we can help you or if you have any questions. Please let us know if there are changes to your personal circumstances, such as a change of address, a new cancer diagnosis or genetic diagnosis in your family. If you are concerned about new symptoms you should speak to your GP in the first instance, but please feel free to inform us as well.
General Enquiries: 020 8235 4266
If you have not received an appointment as expected, then please try the appointments team in the first instance. However please inform us if they have not been able to resolve this issue.
Dr Kevin Monahan
Professor Huw Thomas
Director and Consultant Physician
Dr Andrew Latchford
Lead Cancer Genetics Nurse and Unit Manager
Cancer Genetics Specialist Nurse
Carleen Tsolu and Elizabeth Goodband
These leaflets are available to provide information on various aspects of familial risk of colorectal cancer:
- Referral Guidelines
- Bowel Cancer and Genetics
- Family History Questionnaire
- Lynch Syndrome Clinic
- Polyposis Registry
- Lynch Syndrome UK
- Bowel Cancer UK