No one should face hereditary cancer alone.

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Genetic Testing

Learn about genes and cancer, signs of hereditary cancer, genetic counseling, types of genetic tests and what results mean for you and your family.

Related Force Information

Genetics 101 Webinar
Is the cancer in your family hereditary? Dr. Sutphen reviews the different types of hereditary syndromes and mutations that can lead to cancer within a family; the types of genetic tests available for these syndromes; cancer risks associated with different hereditary syndromes; why hereditary cancers are different from sporadic cancers, and how hereditary cancers develop.

Surviving Breast Cancer: African-American Women and the Importance of Genetic Testing
Fall 2005 FORCE newsletter article about genetic counseling and testing for African-American women

BRCA Testing: When Negative Results May Still Mean High Risk
Fall 2006 FORCE newsletter article on inconclusive negative BRCA test results

Phenocopy Hypothesis
Spring 2007 FORCE newsletter article on controversial hypothesis that women who test “true negative” for a BRCA mutation may still be at higher risk than average for breast cancer

Prevalence of BRCA Mutations Underestimated in Asian American Women
Winter 2009 article with personal account and results from research on prevalence of BRCA in Asian women

Testing BRCA Negative: Could it be Cowden Syndrome?
Spring 2008 FORCE newsletter article on Cowden Syndrome, a hereditary cancer syndrome with increased risk for breast cancer.

Genetic Mutation Database
Our genetic mutation database can help people search for a particular mutation and connect with others who have the same mutation. Use the Mutation Search Form to search by mutation, or ethnicity.

Noncarriers in BRCA1/BRCA2 families do not have increased risk of breast cancer
Article on research from 2011 indicating that women who test "true negative" (they didn't inherit the BRCA mutation in their family) do not have elevated risk for breast cancer.

BROCA Test for Ovarian Cancer Risk
Article in Fall 2012 Joining FORCEs Newsletter about new test for ovarian cancer risk in BRCA-negative families.

Genetic Testing Research for BRCA-Negative Families with Ovarian Cancer
Article in Fall 2012 Joining FORCEs Newsletter about research for families with ovarian cancer but no known mutation.

New Tools Help with Uncertain or Negative BRCA Results
Article in Spring 2014 Joining FORCEs Newsletter about advances in genetic testing which can find more mutations that lead to cancer in families.

Using Multiple-Gene Panels for Medical Decisions
Article in Spring 2014 Joining FORCEs Newsletter about new genetic tests for multiple genes.

Are Women Who Test True Negative for BRCA at Increased Risk of Cancer
Article in Spring 2014 Joining FORCEs Newsletter reviews the research on risk for cancer in women who test negative for a family BRCA mutation.

Books

Breakthrough: The Race to Find the Breast Cancer Gene

Positive Results
by Joi Morris and Ora Gordon, MD
One part memoir, three parts guidebook, Positive Results explains in a clear and steady manner the myths and realities of “the breast cancer genes.”

Other Websites

Genetic Testing for Breast and Ovarian Cancer Risk
A good introduction from the National Cancer Institute.

In the Family
This documentary film follows the story of previvor Joanna Rudnick and several families affected by hereditary breast and ovarian cancer.

Myriad Genetics
Information for consumers and health care providers, including charts of BRCA prevalence, produced by the laboratory that conducts BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 testing

ACLU Challenges Patents On Breast Cancer Genes: BRCA
Website for the American Civil Liberties Union, with information about their lawsuit against Myriad Genetics over their patent of the BRCA genes.

Understanding your negative BRCA test result
This website is maintained by the Ferre Institute, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides services in genetics and reproductive health.

Ferre Institute
Ferre Institute has created a resource for individuals who have undergone testing for two of the genes that cause the majority of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, BRCA1 and BRCA2, and have tested negative or have been found to have a variant.

Ambry Genetics
Ambry Genetics offers multiple genetic panels that include BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 gene tests. Speak with a genetic counselor to assure that the most appropriate tests are ordered and properly interpreted. Ambry has stated that they will be submitting variant results into ClinVar.

DNA Traits
Website says they are offering BRCA testing. Speak with a genetic counselor to assure that the most appropriate tests are ordered and properly interpreted.

University of Washington Genetics Lab
Offers gene panel testing and single site testing for specific gene mutations. Speak with a genetic counselor to assure that the most appropriate tests are ordered and properly interpreted.

Ethigen
Ethigen offers BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 testing as well as testing for other hereditary syndromes. They emphasize the importance of genetic counseling and work with experts to assure the most appropriate tests are ordered and properly interpreted. Their website states that they support the campaign for the open sharing of classifying variants.

Quest Diagnostics BRCAvantage
Quest Diagnostics offers several options for BRCA testing including single-site analysis, Ashkenazi Founder mutation panels and rearrangement testing. Speak with a genetic counselor to assure that the most appropriate tests are ordered and properly interpreted.

InVitae
InVitae offers a variety of hereditary cancer testing panels. Speak with a genetic counselor to assure that the most appropriate tests are ordered and properly interpreted.