The COSA Familial Cancer Group was formed in 2006 to provide a national forum for discussion and interaction among the full spectrum of clinical, research and support service personnel engaged in familial cancer research, treatment and management. Specialists in this relatively new area of cancer usually have a background in oncology or genetics (or both) and work with trained genetic counsellors.
Some of the issues in which the group has interest include:
- continuing education for COSA members;
- coordination of familial cancer research;
- development of consistent clinical protocols across Australia; and
- workforce and training requirements.
There have been considerable advances in the area of cancer genetics over the last 10 years, with the identification and characterisation of genes in which germline mutations predispose to a high risk of cancer.
Along with this has come availability of genetic testing in certain families with a genetic predisposition. In the area of genetic susceptibility to breast/ovarian and bowel cancers, there are now well developed clinical programs available via Family Cancer Services in most states of Australia.
Family Cancer Services have been developed to provide cancer risk assessment, surveillance, prevention strategies and genetic counselling and testing, when appropriate, for these families.
Services are usually situated in institutions with a public-sector comprehensive cancer service, forming a key part of the multidisciplinary approach to cancer care. The improved ability to detect people at high risk through analysis of their family history and genetic testing has been accompanied by advances in cancer screening, cancer surveillance and cancer prevention. It is important to identify these individuals so that these advances can be applied in their management, offering hope of making an impact on the national goals of cancer control.
In 2011 the Group held a Clnical Professional Day on the 14 November in Perth. Please click here to read the report.
Chair: Dr Gillian Mitchell
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Contact COSA for more information about this group.
Clinical, research and support service personnel engaged in familial cancer research, treatment and management are welcome to join the Familial Cancer Group. COSA membership comes with a range of member benefits.
To become a member of this group select the Familial Cancer membership box on the COSA joining form. Current members can join this group by selecting the Familial Cancer membership box in update profile in the members’ area.