Family Variant Testing

Family Variant Testing for Hereditary Cancer

Follow-up Hereditary Cancer testing for biological relatives

Genetic test results may have health implications for individuals in the same family. If someone in your family received a positive test result, you may consider having genetic testing to determine if you have the same variant. Your result may provide you with important information about your cancer and/or reproductive risks.

For certain genes, having this information can also help guide you and your healthcare providers to make informed decisions about cancer screening, prevention, and/or treatment. If Sema4-GeneDx testing indicates a patient has a pathogenic or likely pathogenic variant, we will test their biological relatives for that same variant.

Visit our Family Variant testing page to learn more.


Next steps

  • Watch the hereditary cancer pre-test educational video below
  • If you would like to pursue genetic testing, bring your relative’s genetic test report to an appointment with your healthcare provider. Your provider will review your personal and family history before discussing appropriate genetic test options.
  • To find a genetic counselor in your area, visit the National Society of Genetic Counselors website

Pre-test educational video

If your doctor determines that a hereditary cancer test is right for you, they may ask you to watch this informational video to learn more about the testing process.


Frequently Asked Questions

I found out I have a pathogenic or likely pathogenic variant, should I tell my family?

It can be helpful to share your test results with your biological relatives. If you were found to carry a genetic variant associated with increased risk to develop cancer, your family members may also carry the same variant. This means they would have an increased chance to develop one or more cancers. The good news is there may be strategies their healthcare providers can discuss with them to reduce that chance.

If you have a positive genetic test result, we have a program that can help your family members get testing for the same genetic variant.

For individuals with a positive finding, the patient portal contains a sample message you can send your family members to give them more information – view example here.

What is family variant (or “cascade”) testing?

Genetics run in families – if a patient is found to carry a hereditary genetic variant associated with increased risk of developing cancer, their blood relatives may also carry the same variant. The family variant testing program is designed to provide access to testing to those blood relatives, to empower them with information about their cancer and/or reproductive risks.

For certain genes, having this information can help guide their healthcare providers to make informed decisions about cancer screening, prevention, and/or treatment.

How do I order family variant testing?

Bring a copy of your relative’s genetic testing report to an appointment with your healthcare provider. Your provider will review your personal and family history of cancer before discussing appropriate genetic testing options.

Ready to learn more?

Our customer service team is available to answer any questions you may have. Call us directly at 888-729-1206 (option 3), or email support@genedx.com.