Hereditary Cancer and Genetic Testing

Genetic testing for inherited mutations

Genetic testing for an inherited mutation (also called "germline genetic testing") looks at DNA found in blood or saliva samples to find mutations that can cause diseases such as cancer.

Genetic testing can help people understand their risk for cancer, help them make medical decisions, and take steps to lower their cancer risk or detect cancer early. For people already diagnosed with cancer, genetic testing can help people make medical decisions about how to best treat their cancer. 

Visit these sections for information on:


Insurance coverage of genetic testing

The majority of public and private health insurance plans cover genetic counseling, and if appropriate, genetic testing for people who have specific personal and/or family histories of cancer. Copays, coinsurance and deductibles may apply. Visit our section on Insurance and Paying for Care: Genetic Counseling and Testing for more information.  

Some laboratories have assistance programs that help cover the cost for genetic testing for an inherited mutation: 


The following clinical trials include genetic counseling and testing:

Visit our Research Search and Enroll Tool to find other studies that include genetic counseling and/or testing as part of the study. 

Last updated July 20, 2020