Telehealth Visits are Available
At our clinic we have thorough safety measures in place to protect you, your caregivers and our staff. We also understand that sometimes it is not possible to come to an in-person visit. That is why we are pleased to offer telehealth visits during the COVID-19 pandemic if you are eligible.
We are committed to easing any anxiety around a telehealth visit if this is new for you. Prior to your appointment we will provide detailed instructions to help you familiarize yourself before you meet with your care team.
Call our patient coordinators at 855.557.0555 and ask if telehealth is an option for you.
At the Prostate Cancer Genetics Clinic at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center — among the first of its kind in the U.S. and the only genetics clinic in the Pacific Northwest — we provide expert genetic counseling, testing and oncology review to men like you who may have a higher genetic risk of developing cancer.
If your testing results show you have a significant gene mutation (change), we can get you the support you need, like matching you to the newest clinical trials and research opportunities. And if you have metastatic prostate cancer, you can receive free genetic testing and counseling through the Fred Hutch-led GENetic Testing for MEN (GENTleMEN) study.
Learn more about the GENTLeMEN Study
— Heather Cheng, MD, PhD, Medical Oncologist
Some men are born with prostate cancer written into their genes and don’t know it. But having genetic testing to find out if you’ve inherited this risk can give you a clear advantage.
How? If you already have prostate cancer or develop it in the future, tailored strategies can be used to improve your outcomes. Newer therapies can target the cancer’s weaknesses, which can contribute to better outcomes. And knowing your genetic risk can also help your biological family, who might have the same risk factors, by giving them options to be proactive about their health through cancer screening and/or risk reduction strategies.
If testing shows you have a gene mutation that is linked to inherited cancer risk, your blood relatives might be at higher risk, too. The Prostate Cancer Genetics Clinic at Fred Hutch can help refer your family members for genetic counseling and testing, if appropriate. We can also guide them to resources for screening and early cancer prevention.
Nearly 12 percent of men with advanced prostate cancer carry inherited genes that increase their risk for faster-growing forms of the disease that are more likely to spread. Knowing whether you carry one of these genes may help your physician precisely tailor your prostate cancer treatment.
You should consider genetic testing if you have metastatic prostate cancer. We also recommend genetic testing and counseling for men with prostate cancer who have:
Men of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry are also considered at high risk of developing prostate cancer and should consider genetic testing.
Talk with your Fred Hutch physician about how genetics may affect your treatment. If you already have prostate cancer or metastatic prostate cancer in addition to one or more of the factors listed in the section above, talk to your physician to find out how knowing your genetic risk factor may help you.
At your first genetic consultation, you will meet with two providers: a genetic counselor and a medical oncologist. This process takes about two hours.
During your time with the genetic counselor, he or she will carefully review your personal and family medical history. If there is a possible genetic risk, the counselor will discuss the option of genetic testing with you and what your results might mean.
During your visit with the medical oncologist, you will discuss how genetic testing could affect your cancer treatment plan.
If you decide to have genetic testing, we will take a sample of your DNA through a blood draw or a saliva sample, which is sent to a lab for testing. After the results come back, you will meet again with the genetic counselor by phone to go over your results. If you do have a pathogenic genetic mutation, we’ll recommend that you meet with the medical oncologist again for a more in-depth conversation about possible treatment.
Prostate cancers can be slow-growing. They can also be aggressive and more likely to metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body. This makes it challenging to know how aggressive each person’s cancer will be and how best to treat it.
Research led by scientists from Fred Hutch and the University of Washington are discovering new answers. If you have prostate cancer or metastatic prostate cancer, you can receive innovative new therapies that can help you while providing valuable information that can help physicians better prevent, diagnose and treat others who develop prostate cancer.
Men who have metastatic prostate cancer can receive free genetic testing and counseling online by enrolling in the GENTleMEN (GENetic Testing for MEN) study.
Led by Heather Cheng, MD, PhD, director of the Prostate Cancer Genetics Clinic at Fred Hutch, the study seeks to remove barriers and improve access to genetic testing and counseling, which aren’t available everywhere and may not always be covered by insurance.
To participate, you do not need to leave home. You can complete an online questionnaire, then receive a saliva-sampling kit in the mail. Your sample is tested, and if it is positive, you can have access to genetic counseling, including through Fred Hutch.
To learn more about the GENTleMen study or to request a test kit, call 877. 606.GENT (4368) toll-free.