Hereditary High-Risk Program

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About Our Hereditary High-Risk Program

There is increasing evidence from scientific research that up to 10% of all cancers might be caused by inherited gene mutations, a disease-causing gene. There is another proportion of patients with cancers running in their family. The remaining cancers are believed to be sporadic and more research is underway to understand the causes behind them. For patients who have either a cancer-causing gene or a family history of certain cancers, they can take action to mitigate the risk.

The Hereditary High-Risk Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi provides support and counselling to patients who have an identified inherited gene mutation, have a family or personal history of cancer, , all of which may increase their risk of developing the disease. The program’s team of genetic experts then work with patients to develop personalized, precision management plans, including medical and surgical treatment options.

The Hereditary High-Risk Program at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is innovative within the field of precision medicine. As an embedded service within our Oncology Institute, providing novel models of care, we offer an integrated, compassionate and holistic approach to serve our patients.

  • Our Approach
  • Eligibility
  • What to Expect

Our Approach

Our Hereditary High-Risk Program combines the very latest research in hereditary cancers with an expert, multidisciplinary team of specialists to provide compassionate individualized care.

Our aim is to identify people who may be at an increased risk of developing cancer. We then work closely with these individuals to provide the appropriate support that they need. We educate and counsel people on their individual risk and risk reduction methods, and we discuss the most effective screening and prevention methods available to them.

Our team are also actively involved in research studies into hereditary cancers, and with the support of research participants, are working towards a better understanding of the role of genetic mutations in cancer, and ultimately how we can better manage the risk that they present.


Many of us will have a relative who has been diagnosed with cancer. This does not necessarily mean that you are at an increased risk of cancer. However, when there is a significant family history, more than one type of cancer has previously been diagnosed, or there has been an early onset of cancer, there could be a high risk of cancer developing. People who fall into any of the following categories should book an appointment with our team:

  • One or more close relative (parent, child, sibling) or second degree relative (grandparent, uncle/aunt)diagnosed with colorectal, breast,ovarian, or pancreatic cancer.
  • Two or more relatives (first or second degree) diagnosed with colorectal, breast, or ovarian cancer.
  • Multiple primary cancers in one individual
  • Personal history of rare tumors (i.e. male breast cancer, paraganglioma, medullary thyroid cancer).
  • Identified genetic mutation within the family (i.e., carrier of the BRCA1/2 gene mutation).
  • Multiple colon polyps.
  • Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish ancestry

What to Expect

Ahead of an appointment with the Hereditary High-Risk Program team, it is important that you gather as much family history as possible. The team will need to know about who in the family has been diagnosed with cancer, their age at diagnosis, any recurrence of cancer, and the type(s) of cancer they have had. The team will also need to know about any previous genetic testing that family members may have had.

At your appointment, you will meet with a high-risk physician who will perform a risk estimation based your personal and family history of cancer, as well as your genomic information. If identified to be at increased risk, patients will then be offered a personalized preventative program which may include genetic testing, lifestyle modification, enhanced screening, preventive medication, and surgery to reduce the risk of cancer.

Genetic counselling involves the following steps:

  • Examination by a clinical geneticist, a thorough review of medical history, and genetic testing to obtain a diagnosis of a genetic condition.
  • Assessment and review of individual risk.
  • Education and counselling on your specific genetic diagnosis.
  • Education on associated health risks.
  • Recommendations for medical treatment to optimize health.
  • Recommendations for appropriate screening.
  • Discussion of risk to family members.
  • Recommendations for genetic testing for any family members who may be at risk.

Our program provides comprehensive and compassionate services, education and support to at risk individuals and their family members. Our experts team consists of:

  • High-Risk Physician
  • Genetic Counsellors
  • Oncologists
  • Radiologists
  • Breast Surgeons
  • Plastic Surgeons
  • Gastroenterologists
  • Gynecologists, including Gynecologic Surgeons
  • Lifestyle Medicine Physicians
  • Dietitians
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists. 

Hereditary High-Risk Program Doctors

Our Hereditary High-Risk Program provides comprehensive and compassionate services, education and support to at risk individuals and their family members.

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