Information for family

If your test shows that you do carry a gene mutation that increases your risk for cancer, this is powerful information that can help both you and your family. You and your healthcare team can use the results to support plans and informed decisions about your health.

Other family members may need to be tested in order to find out if they too share the same genetic trait that can increase their cancer risk. You can help your family understand that if they get tested, the information from their results will enable them to take steps to reduce their cancer risk dramatically.

Testing can also inform family members that they are not at increased risk when they test negative for a family mutation. Just knowing that there are no known hereditary factors or hereditary syndrome that can lead to an increased risk of cancer can be of great comfort.

Talk with family members about getting tested and about how knowing more can help reduce their concern, as well as their risk.

Here are some tips for starting a family discussion:

  • Start by telling your loved ones about your own journey as you learned about your hereditary cancer risks
  • Sit down with the family and show them this website
  • Encourage them to get and stay healthy by exercising, eating a diet rich in antioxidants, and quitting smoking or other poor health habits
  • Hand out printable information cards to family members to encourage them to talk with their healthcare providers about the family history

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