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Hereditary Cancer and Genetic Testing

Cancer treatment for people with  mutations

People with an inherited  mutation who have been diagnosed with cancer may have different treatment options than people without a mutation. To learn more about standard of care treatment options for specific types of cancer, visit our section on Cancer Treatment by Cancer Type

If you have an inherited  mutation, have been diagnosed with cancer and any of the situations below apply to you, you may wish to speak to your doctor about your medical options. You may also consider enrolling in a clinical trial studying which treatments work best for people with an inherited  mutation. 

Regardless of cancer type, people with a  mutation may qualify for clinical trials looking for more effective treatments for cancer.


Surgical decisions for women diagnosed with breast cancer

Because of the increased risk for a second breast cancer diagnosis, women who are diagnosed with breast cancer who test positive for an inherited mutation in  may choose  mastectomy rather than and radiation. Mutation carriers who undergo mastectomy are less likely to develop a second breast cancer. 


PARP inhibitors

PARP inhibitors are a type of that work by blocking a protein used to repair damaged . They were initially developed to treat cancers in people with an inherited  or  mutation. Since then, research and additional approvals have expanded use of PARP inhibitors to more situations. People with an  mutation who have been diagnosed with cancer may want to ask their doctor about  therapy. 


prostate cancer

The , Lynparza (olaparib) has received FDA-approval to treat men with , castration-resistent cancer, who have a mutation in  or another gene linked to a certain type of damage repair. Lynparza may be used to treat men whose cancer has progressed on enzalutamide (Xtandi) or abiraterone (Zytiga). 

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FORCE offers many peer support programs for people with inherited mutations. 

updated: 03/12/2022

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Paying for cancer treatment

The majority of public and private health insurance plans are required to cover cancer diagnosis and treatment; copays, coinsurance and deductibles often apply. Patient costs and coverage for specific doctors, facilities or treatments may vary based on your health plan. Visit our section on Insurance and Paying for Care: Treatment  for more information, links to sample appeal letters and other resources. 

Some pharmaceutical companies have assistance programs that help cover the cost for their medications: 

Organizations that offer co-pay assistance:

Other resources:

  • The American Cancer Society provides information and resources on covering the cost of cancer care. Public assistance, such as Medicaid may be available if you are ineligible for other programs. 
  • Needy Meds: Assistance programs to help patients with cost of medications and other healthcare.
  • Triage Cancer offers tools and resources to help individuals cope with the financial aspects of a cancer diagnosis.

updated: 01/22/2022

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The following are studies looking at treatment for people with advanced

updated: 06/26/2022

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The following are studies looking at PARP inhibitors as treatment for advanced breast cancer: 

A number of other clinical trials for treating patients with breast cancer can be found here.

updated: 06/26/2022

Last updated March 14, 2022