Frequently Asked Questions

About the testing process:

What can I expect during the testing process?

The process is simple and easy for you. You will need to provide a small sample of either blood or saliva for the test. The sample is taken at your doctor’s office, and is sent directly to Myriad Genetic Laboratories to be processed. The test findings will be sent to your doctor in two to three weeks, and you will have a follow-up appointment to discuss the results.

Will my insurance cover the cost of testing?

Most insurance carriers cover genetic testing services for hereditary cancer. In fact, 3 out of 4 patients pay $0 and the average out-of-pocket expense is only $54. We work directly with your insurance provider to get reimbursement for the genetic tests we offer. We have significant experience navigating the reimbursement issues that may be important to you. Visit this page to learn about the Myriad Promise and the Myriad Financial Assistance Program (MFAP).

Can my health insurance coverage be affected, depending on my test results?

No. Federal laws (HIPAA and GINA) and laws in most states prohibit discrimination regarding employment eligibility, health benefits, or health insurance premiums based solely on genetic information. In addition, it is Myriad’s policy that test results are reported only to the healthcare professional who ordered the test, or to a specifically designated provider with your written authorization.

How can I get more information about hereditary cancer risk assessment and genetic testing?

Your healthcare provider is always your best resource for information. He or she can help you make informed decisions about your needs. For information about Myriad and the tests we offer, visit

About hereditary cancer syndromes:

What are hereditary cancer syndromes?

Although all cancer is caused by the abnormal function of genes, most are the result of random mutations within individuals. While certain risk factors may run in families, only about 5% to 10% of all cancer cases are caused by inherited gene mutations. In hereditary cancer, a gene mutation can be passed from parent to child, from generation to generation.

Learn more about the different types of hereditary cancer syndromes.

If I have family members who have had cancer, should I get tested?

Genetic testing has helped thousands of men and women get information that enabled them to make important choices and take steps to reduce their risk of colon, breast, ovarian, endometrial and other types of cancer. Talk with your healthcare provider about your family history, and ask if testing would be right for you.

Knowing your risk can help you be ready against hereditary cancer, so you and your doctor can take action for risk-reduction and treatment. If you do have a gene mutation, you can take steps including:

  • Starting cancer screenings at an earlier age
  • Choosing to take risk-reducing medications, or have preventive surgery
  • Reducing the risk for a second cancer if you have already had one type
  • Educating family members about their potential risks and need for testing
How do I go about getting tested?

You may be a candidate for testing if any of these red flags appear in your family history. Your healthcare provider can order the test for you. It is a simple process that only requires a small sample of blood or saliva. Visit this page to learn more details about the screening process.

What tests are available?

Myriad Genetic Laboratories offers several types of genetic screening tests to measure your risk for a variety of inherited cancer syndromes, including:

  • Myriad myRisk™ Hereditary Cancer
  • BRACAnalysis for hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC) syndrome
  • BRACAnalysis CDX helps inform patient management related to two PARP inhibitors
  • COLARIS for Lynch syndrome (colon and endometrial cancer)
  • COLARIS AP for adenomatous polyposis syndromes
  • ENDOPREDICT helps make treatment decisions for breast cancer patients’ risk of cancer coming back in another part of the body
  • MELARIS for the p16 gene mutation that increases the risk of melanoma
  • myChoiceHRD identifies patients who may benefit from PARP inhibitors
  • Prolaris to assess prostate cancer aggressiveness

Based on your personal medical history and the information you provide about your family’s history, your doctor will determine which test will meet your needs. You can learn more about each of these tests on this page.

What do the test results mean?

The test results will be sent to your healthcare provider, who will meet with you to discuss them. The report may provide more information than “positive” or “negative” for a gene mutation. Go to the Understanding your test results page to learn more.

Does a positive test mean that I have cancer?

No. A genetic test can only tell you if you carry the gene mutation that can increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer.

Does a positive test mean that I will get cancer?

No. A positive test means that you are at increased risk. Knowing this can help you and your healthcare team decide on steps to lower your risk and help prevent cancer from occurring.

Should I tell my family about my test results?

It is strongly encouraged that you share your test results with your family members as this information can be very helpful for family members so they can better understand their cancer risks and decide whether testing is right for them. Keep in mind that even if you do not carry a gene mutation, the other biological parent may carry one that can be passed to your children.

In addition, testing can tell people that they are not at risk, which can be a great comfort. Visit this page to learn more about how to discuss testing with your loved ones.

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