Understanding your Positive 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.

If your result is positive, there are many ways to manage your cancer risk. Understanding the information in your report is the first step. The report your healthcare provider receives will include information about the broken gene itself and your personal and family cancer history, both of which may increase the risk for specific cancers. The myRisk test report will also give your healthcare provider management recommendations based on medical societies’ guidelines. With this information, you and your healthcare provider may better understand your risk and develop a management plan that is right for you.

Testing positive on the Myriad myRisk Hereditary Cancer panel means that one of the genes that has been passed down to you through your family is altered, or mutated, in a way that increases your risk for hereditary cancer. This result is not saying that you have cancer, or that you will definitely develop cancer. Fortunately, you can often take steps to manage your risk.

Risks: Your risk for the cancer or cancers associated with your gene mutation is higher than the risk for those without the mutation, sometimes far higher. Your test report shows your risk and also the risk to the general population. This allows you to compare risk levels.

Management: Your test report provides information about each of the cancers associated with gene mutations like yours. In general, the changes to your risk management can take four possible directions. First, you may be screened more often and perhaps with different or additional tests than you have had previously. Second, it might also be recommended that you take medication to reduce your risk. Third, there may be surgical steps to discuss. Finally, you may discuss lifestyle changes with your provider. The personal management plan that you and your provider develop together will take all of these factors into account. All of the management recommendations in the report are based on those of leading medical societies.

Family: Because your personal and family history influences your management plan, it is important to share accurate and up-to-date information with your healthcare provider. As things change, make sure you update your history. The family history you provided appears near the front of your report.

It is important to share information about your test results with your family. They may want to talk with a healthcare provider about how this affects them and the possibility of genetic testing. Your report shows risk levels associated with your gene mutation for family members.

“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.