Understanding your Negative Cancer Test Result

The Value of knowing

Regardless of the results, you and your healthcare provider will benefit from the knowledge and insight the test provides. Knowing whether you are positive (you have a broken gene) or negative (you do not) enables you and your healthcare provider to create a personal health management plan.

A negative result on the Myriad myRisk Hereditary Cancer panel means that there were no mutations detected in your genetic makeup related to hereditary cancer for the genes evaluated on the myRisk test. Because of this, your risk for a hereditary cancer is lower but not completely ruled out.

It is not uncommon for cancer to “run in the family” when there is no genetic evidence of hereditary cancer. If this is the case for you, you might still have a higher risk than the general population. Your healthcare provider may want you to have screening tests more often so you can be monitored more closely. It is also important that you share your test status with your family so that they can follow up with their own healthcare providers to determine their risk.

Risks: A personal and/or family cancer history may be a sign of increased cancer risk. You were likely tested because of personal or family history of cancers. Even though you do not have a gene mutation, your risk is not likely the same as individuals without a similar cancer history.

Your risk could be increased due to

  • Your concerning personal and/or family history
  • Other nonhereditary factors (for example, your environment or lifestyle)
  • Another hereditary cancer syndrome
  • A mutation that this testing does not detect

Management: If sufficient personal and family history was provided for analysis, your report may prompt “modified medical management” and this section will highlight management recommendations made by leading medical societies that you and your healthcare provider may want to consider. The two of you will work together to determine the best management plan for you.

Family: Family members should consider talking to their healthcare providers about hereditary cancer testing to help define their own hereditary cancer risk. While your test report may be helpful for your family’s hereditary cancer assessment, each individual’s genetic makeup is different and may still require individual testing.

“Variants not requiring clinical action”: A variant is a change in the normal sequence of a gene for which the clinical significance is unclear. Variants are common and usually harmless. If a variant has no known associated clinical actions, or is not associated with hereditary cancer risk, it is not reported. Myriad has made a major commitment to understanding the nature of unknown variants. If Myriad identifies new information about a variant that makes it clinically actionable, that information will be made available.