Early detection starts with risk testing

Genetic testing can help you learn more about your risk for developing hereditary cancer. Knowing your risk lets you and your doctor take proactive steps to care for your health, such as preventive cancer screening.

We offer hereditary cancer testing for assessment of inherited risk for a broad range of cancer types including breast, gynecological, and colorectal cancer.

Is hereditary cancer testing right for me?

About 5% to 10% of cancers are thought to be caused by inherited genetic changes. If you test positive for a mutation, it means that you may have an increased risk of developing cancer. Because mutations often run in families, your relatives may also be at an increased risk.

You may benefit from hereditary cancer testing if you or your family members meet any of the criteria below:
  • Cancer in ≥2 close relatives on the same side of a family
  • Bilateral or multiple primary tumors
  • ≥10 colorectal polyps
Early Onset
  • Cancer diagnosed before the age of 50, including breast, colon, or uterine cancer
  • Ovarian, pancreatic, male breast, metastatic prostate, or triple negative breast cancer diagnosed at any age
Ashkenazi Jew
  • With a history of breast cancer diagnosed at any age

How can hereditary cancer testing help me and my family?

  • Take steps to detect cancer early
  • Determine the best treatment approach when cancer occurs
  • Find strategies to reduce the risk of a recurrence of cancer
  • Identify families that have a genetic risk of cancer so more relatives can be tested

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

You can still benefit from genetic testing for hereditary cancer even if you have cancer or were treated for cancer before. Genetic testing can help identify underlying hereditary causes of your cancer. This can help you and your doctor

  • Better understand your risk of developing a second cancer
  • Identify strategies to reduce the risk of developing a second cancer
  • Find strategies to reduce the risk of a recurrence of cancer
  • Take steps to detect cancer early. Early detection may help improve outcomes

How does it work?

  • To get started, talk to your doctor about requesting a genetic test for inherited cancer risk.
  • Before testing, your doctor may ask you some questions about your personal medical history and your family history of cancer. This information will help your doctor determine whether genetic testing is right for you and which type of test may be best.
  • If you and your doctor decide genetic testing is right for you, your doctor will collect a blood or saliva sample from you to send to the Sema4 lab.
  • Your sample is analyzed by our state-of-the-art sequencing technologies. This usually takes about 2-3 weeks
  • Once your genetic screen is completed, your doctor or a genetic counselor will contact you to explain the results and answer any questions you may have.

Which hereditary cancer test should I choose?

Sema4 offers several different hereditary cancer panels, depending on provider preference, patient preference, and test indication. To learn more about available hereditary cancer panels, please visit sema4.com/products/test-catalog/ or call 833-486-6260.