Follow-up testing of specific biological relatives of an individual with a VUS can sometimes clarify the clinical significance of a VUS. Visit our Family Variant Testing program page to learn more.
Why does sharing my genetic test result with family members matter?
If your test result is positive, genetic testing may be indicated for your biological family members to determine if they carry the same pathogenic variant as you. Your test result is a piece of powerful information that can help both you and your family better understand cancer risks. Your test result can also help you and your family members make informed healthcare decisions with appropriate healthcare providers.
Starting the conversation about genetic testing with your family members can help them understand the importance of this information. In some cases, your family members’ genetic test result may enable them to take steps to reduce their cancer risk or detect cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage.
Sharing this type of information is important, but keep in mind that your relatives’ views about health and cancer may differ from your own.
- Think about which family members you would like to share your results with (i.e., biological relatives)
- Download a sample letter you can send to a family member
- Give them a copy of your test results and share this link so they can learn more about hereditary cancer genetic testing
- Learn more about Family Variant Testing
> To find a genetic counselor, visit https://www.nsgc.org/findageneticcounselor
> National Cancer Institute https://www.cancer.gov
> Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) http://ginahelp.org
*The type of cancer, level of risks, and medical management recommendations will depend on your specific genetic test result. A negative result does not rule out the chance to develop cancer, and individuals with a negative result will still need screening based on family history or general population risks.