​Most cancers occur randomly, however a small number of cases (5 -10%) are linked to a strong family history of cancer. These cancers may be the result of identifiable gene mutations.

Therefore, it is recommended that women begin regular annual breast cancer screening at the age of 45. Hamad Medical Corporation offers a breast cancer screening clinic at National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR), operated by a team of specialists from the National Center for Cancer Care and Research.
Dr. Salha Bujassoum, Senior Consultant at the National Center for Cancer Care and Research (NCCCR), and Director of the Breast Cancer Program at HMC said that one of the clinic’s services is to offer genetic counseling and testing for families at risk of inherited forms of breast and other types of cancer.

The clinics also provide a wide range of services for affected and unaffected people; those with high risk of developing inherited forms of breast and other types of cancer. Based on an evaluation process done by  a certified  genetic counselor  who is in charge of assessing  lifetime risk ,incidence, and counseling about genetic mutation risk (according to international scoring tools), the patient will be offered risk reducing strategies that include surveillance of breast and other types of cancer prophylactic surgeries, or drugs that can  reduce risk of cancers . There is a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach that allows a team of specialists including genetic counselors, psychologists, surgeons, and medical oncologist to work together to develop the best plan of care for each and every patient.

Currently, there is no other center for breast cancer in Qatar that offers these services.

Genetic testing is performed through the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory at HMC and some genetic tests are sent abroad.

Patient will be seen in different clinics visits
  • First Assessment Clinic (first visit)
Patients will be called from the general waiting area and escorted to the clinical assessment area. There they will be interviewed by a physician and genetic counselor. About their history and family history of cancer.
  • Pre- Genetic Testing Clinic (second visit)
This is a crucial step to discuss the life-time risk of breast cancer incidence with patients, based in personal and  family history  of cancer and discusses if genetic test need to be done and what is the implication of doing the test.
  • Post genetic Testing (third visit)
All the cases that have been seen are discussed in the high risk MDT meeting, where a management plan is documented. In these visits, patients are seen by a medical oncologist and a genetic counselor to discuss their genetic testing result and the risk reduction strategies through a shared decision with patients.