The goals of genetic testing are to:
• Provide valuable information for use in customizing medical management plans
• Determine whether you have a genetic mutation known to increase your risk for certain inherited cancers
• Help your healthcare professional make a timely and accurate diagnosis
• Enable your healthcare professional to better predict disease aggressiveness to assist in making more informed treatment decisions
• Assist your healthcare professional in making important decisions about the management of your disease.
If you have had cancer at a young age, rare cancer or if cancer occurs frequently in your family, genetic testing may be an important first step for you. If a greater than average risk of cancer is found, there are a number of things you and your healthcare professional can do to manage that risk:*
• You might be advised to have more frequent monitoring to help detect cancer at an earlier, more treatable stage and improve cancer survival.
• Your healthcare professional may recommend preventive strategies, including risk-reducing medications or surgeries, that may reduce your risk of developing cancer.
• You and your healthcare professional can make more informed decisions on your treatment options.
• Test results can help your relatives learn more about the inherited risk and how it may affect them.
• In addition, family members who do not carry mutations that increase their cancer risk may avoid unnecessary medical interventions.
To help you assess whether you may benefit from hereditary cancer testing, take the Hereditary Cancer Quiz below. This simple, 30-second quiz can help you get the information you need to discuss your risk of cancer with your healthcare professional and ask for further evaluation.
*Any discussion of medical management options is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation. While genetic testing and medical society guidelines provide important and useful information, all medical management decisions should be made based on consultation between each patient and her healthcare professional.