Hereditary Cancer Genetic Testing

Empowering health decisions with genetic testing

 

What is hereditary cancer?

Cancer can sometimes be caused by a change, or variant, in a gene that is passed on in families.1 Changes in these genes can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer and it can occur at a younger age. It is important to find out if you have these changes because people with these changes have a significant increased risk of developing cancer over their lifetime:

  • Up to 10% of all cancers may be caused by these inherited genetic changes2
  • Approximately 1 in 4 women who visit an OB/GYN meet the criteria for further evaluation3-5
  • Up to 10% of breast cancer6 and up to 23% of ovarian cancer patients7-8 have a genetic mutation

 

Who should consider getting tested?

Hereditary cancer genetic testing can let you know if you have a variant that may increase the chance that you will develop certain cancers in your lifetime. Knowing will allow you and your provider to better prevent, detect, or treat certain cancers.

You may be at a higher risk for developing certain cancers if you fall into any of the following categories:

  • History of cancer in your family: two or more related cancers on the same side of your family, or in the same person
  • Ashkenazi Jewish: this ancestry puts you at greater risk for hereditary cancer, especially prostate or breast cancer
  • Rare cancers: diagnosed at any age, such as ovarian, pancreatic, or male breast cancer
  • Early onset: common cancers diagnosed before the age of 50, such as breast, colon, and prostate cancer

 

How might hereditary cancer genetic testing help me and my family?

Depending on the gene, testing positive for a pathogenic variant could mean that you have an increased risk of developing certain types of cancers. Because pathogenic variants often run in families, your relatives may also have inherited the same variant. Genetic testing can help you and your family members:

  • Understand the types of cancer(s) you may be at increased risk to develop
  • Develop appropriate screening strategies with your healthcare provider to prevent cancer or identify it at an earlier stage
  • Determine the best treatment approach if cancer occurs

 

I have cancer (or had cancer before). Should I still be tested?

You can still benefit from hereditary cancer genetic testing even if you currently have cancer or have been diagnosed with cancer in the past. Genetic testing can help identify if there is an underlying hereditary cause for your cancer. This test might help you and your healthcare provider:

  • Better understand your risk of developing additional cancer(s)
  • Identify strategies to reduce the risk of developing additional cancer(s)
  • Determine the best treatment approach for certain types of cancers
  • Help to identify family members who may be at increased risk – learn more

“Knowing your health, knowing that you have these risk factors, that is powerful information for you to have as a patient in order to move forward and have control of your health versus your health having control of you.”

 

Jennifer Reynolds, Founder of Pink Warrior Advocates

 

What are some things I can do?

Find out if hereditary cancer genetic testing is
right for you with some of our resources below:

 

Hereditary Cancer
Family History Questionnaire

Designed to help you assess your risk of hereditary cancer. Should only take a few minutes to complete.

Start Questionnaire

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.

 

We’re here to help

 

Our Patient Portal supports you along the journey, allowing you to:

  • View pre- and post-test educational videos
  • Schedule your genetic counseling appointment, if applicable (see example below)
  • Access your easy-to-understand test results report (see example below)

 

Schedule genetic counseling consultation
View patient friendly test results

 

Still have questions?

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.
 

References

1. ACOG Hereditary Cancer Syndromes and Risk Assessment. ACOG COMMITTEE OPINION SUMMARY, Number 793. Obstetrics & Gynecology: December 2019 – Volume 134 – Issue 6 – p 1366-1367.; 2. The National Cancer Institute: The Genetics of Cancer. August 17, 2022.; 3. Lindsay Dohany, et al. Hereditary cancer risk assessment using a chatbot in women presenting to obstetrics and gynecology practices across the U.S. [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the 2019 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium; 2019 Dec 10-14; San Antonio, TX. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2020;80(4 Suppl):Abstract nr P6-08-39.; 4. Frezzo, T., et al. The genetic family history as a risk assessment tool in internal medicine. Genet Med 5, 84–91 (2003).; 5. DeFrancesco MS, et al. Hereditary Cancer Risk Assessment and Genetic Testing in the Community-Practice Setting. Obstet Gynecol. 2018 Nov;132(5):1121-1129.; 6. Buys SS, Sandbach JF, Gammon A, Patel G, Kidd J, Brown KL, Sharma L, Saam J, Lancaster J, Daly MB. A study of over 35,000 women with breast cancer tested with a 25 gene panel of hereditary cancer genes. Cancer. 2017 May 15;123(10):1721-1730.; 7. Walsh T., Casadei S., Lee M. K., et al. Mutations in 12 genes for inherited ovarian, fallopian tube, and peritoneal carcinoma identified by massively parallel sequencing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2011;108(44):18032–18037.; 8. Pal T, Permuth-Wey J, Betts JA, Krischer JP, Fiorica J, Arango H, et al. BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations account for a large proportion of ovarian carcinoma cases. Cancer 2005;104:2807–16.