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If your medical team has referred you for cancer genetic testing, it's because they suspect that you might have a genetic predisposition to certain types of cancer. This test can help identify changes, or mutations, in specific genes that increase the risk of developing cancer. Knowing whether you have inherited one of these mutations can be important for both your own health and the health of your family members. With this information, your medical team can develop a personalised plan for your care and help you take steps to reduce your risk of developing cancer or catch it early if it does occur. The test itself usually involves a simple blood or saliva sample and is generally painless and straightforward.

Cancer genetic testing can benefit individuals of any gender who have a personal or family history of cancer. However, certain types of cancer and genders may have a higher likelihood of carrying inherited genetic mutations that increase the risk of developing cancer. For example, breast, ovarian, prostate, and colorectal cancers are among the types of cancer that may be linked to inherited genetic mutations, and women with a personal or family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer, and men with a personal or family history of prostate and/or colorectal cancer may be at higher risk. However, it is important to note that anyone with a personal or family history of cancer could benefit from genetic testing to identify potential inherited genetic mutations that could affect their risk of developing cancer. Ultimately, the decision to pursue genetic testing should be made in consultation with healthcare professional who can help determine if it is appropriate and useful for you.

At Blackrock Health, our three hospitals have a history of providing fast and easy access to extensive diagnostic facilities and expert medical or surgical care for patients with cancer. We have invested heavily, both in technology, and in an expert oncology team. This ensures that we can deliver cancer care, tailored to the needs of each individual patient. Our expert consultants and dedicated multidisciplinary teams are here for you. We aim to provide the most comprehensive and compassionate treatment possible in your cancer journey. We are committed to the highest standards of care and have earned a reputation as one of the leaders in the field of private oncology care in Ireland. 

At the Hermitage Clinic, we offer genetic testing for cancer. The aim of our cancer genetics service is to identify those with an increased risk of cancer due to an inherited cause. We promote the prevention or early diagnosis of cancer through genetic testing.

Our goal is to prevent cancer in patients with an increased risk due to family history of the disease.

Our genetics team includes:

  • Consultant medical oncologist
  • Cancer geneticist
  • Cancer genetics nurse (Hermitage)
  • Genetic counsellor (Hermitage)

Who we treat

We might suggest genetic testing if you currently have cancer or if you've had cancer in the past.

Testing can sometimes impact a treatment plan. It can also help us identify if there is an increased risk of certain cancers within your family.

If we find a gene that's known to increase the risk of cancer, we can offer screening to your family members too. This allows your family members to clarify their own risk and, if necessary, discuss options with our team.

What to expect

At your appointment, our team will carry out a hereditary cancer risk assessment. This will mean they review your and your family's medical history and establish if there might be an inherited risk of cancer.

You may then be offered genetic testing to allow us to investigate further. Testing involves a blood test or giving a sample of saliva. Your consultant will take consent for any testing we do.

Your appointment will last about 1 hour.

Sometimes we require medical details about other people in the family if it is relevant to you, and you have their consent to share such information. We may give you a consent form to pass onto relatives if relevant.

You'll receive your test results by phone and a letter will also be sent to your referrer.

We understand that these kinds of tests can be daunting. That's why we offer pre-test counselling. We'll talk everything through with you beforehand to make sure that you fully understand what genetic testing may mean for you and your relatives.

How do I get this?

You will need a referral letter from your GP or consultant before you make an appointment.

Is this insured?

Not all services are covered by health insurance. To find out if you're covered, please check your health insurance before your visit. You can do this on our health insurance Cover Check page, or by contacting your health insurer. 

How do I pay?

If you do not have health insurance or your health plan does not cover the full cost, you will need to pay the balance due before your treatment or procedure. You may be able to claim back some fees on your insurance. To pay an excess not covered by your insurance or any other inpatient fees, please visit our payment page. If you have any queries about paying for your care, please contact the finance team in your hospital.

Available at:
  • Hermitage Clinic

Hermitage Clinic

Old Lucan Road, Dublin, D20 W722
Cancer Genetic Testing