Own Your Own Health | mySupport360

Knowing your risks for hereditary cancer is important. It can affect the future of you and your family. A person with a gene mutation associated with hereditary cancer has a higher chance of developing cancer than the general population.

There are three ways to describe cancer: sporadic, familial and hereditary. Hereditary cancer runs in families and is passed down through inherited mutations in genes that typically help prevent cancer from developing. If cancer runs in your family, genetic testing is the best way to help see if you may have an increased risk of cancer due to an inherited gene mutation – and what you can do to lower that risk.

A positive result (a gene mutation has been found) can help you:

  • Understand your risks of developing a hereditary cancer
  • Proactively lower your potential for developing certain cancers
  • Inform family members of their potential risks
  • Make informed decisions about your health

A negative result (no gene mutations were found) can help you:

  • Understand your risk for a hereditary cancer is substantially lower (but not completely ruled out) and that you can’t pass on what you don’t have
  • Determine if your cancer risk is the same as the general population
  • Learn what medical management changes might be options, based on what cancer is in your personal and family history
  • Talk with other family members about the importance of their testing too

A genetic test result is impactful regardless of the outcome.