Genetic testing for people who have been diagnosed with breast cancer
Up to 10% of people diagnosed with breast cancer have an inherited mutation that caused their cancer. There are national guidelines that outline who should consider genetic counseling and testing for an inherited mutation linked to cancer.
Experts recommend that people diagnosed with breast cancer who have any of the following should speak to an expert about genetic testing:
A person diagnosed with breast cancer, who has any of the following:
A person diagnosed with breast cancer at age 46-50, who has any of the following:
A person diagnosed with breast cancer at age 51 or older, who has any of the following:
Also see our section Genetic Testing for People Who Have Never Been Diagnosed with Cancer for additional guideline information. This is not a complete list of hereditary cancers. A genetics expert can help you learn if the cancer in your family is hereditary.
Health care providers who are specially trained in genetics can help you more clearly understand your risk for . The following resources can help you locate a genetics expert in your area.
- The National Society of Genetic Counselor website offers a searchable directory for finding a genetic counselor by state and specialty. To find a genetic counselor who specializes in cancer genetics, choose "cancer" under the options "Area of Practice/Specialization."
- InformedDNA is a network of board-certified genetic counselors providing this service by telephone. They can also help you find a qualified expert in your area for face-to-face genetic counseling if that is your preference.
- JScreen is a national program based out of Emory University that provides low-cost at-home genetic counseling and testing with financial assistance available.
- Grey Genetics provides access to genetic counselors who offer genetic counseling by telephone.
- The Genetic Support Foundation offers genetic counseling with board-certified genetic counselors.
- FORCE's toll-free helpline at: 866-288-RISK, ext. 704 will connect you with a volunteer board-certified genetic counselor who can answer general questions about genetic testing and cancer and help you find a genetics expert near you.
- FORCE Peer Navigator Program will match you with a volunteer who has undergone genetic counseling and can help you navigate resources to find a genetic counselor near you.
- Ask your doctor for a referral to a genetics expert.
The following organizations offer peer support services for people with, or at high risk for breast cancer:
- FORCE peer support
- Our Message Boards allow people to connect with others who share their situation. Once you register, you can post on the Diagnosed With Cancer board to connect with other people who have been diagnosed.
- Peer Navigation Program will match you with a volunteer who shares your mutation and situation.
- Private Facebook Group
- Virtual and in-person support meetings
- Join a Zoom community group meeting.
- Meetings in American Sign Language
- Meetings in Spanish
- People of Color
- Young Previvors
- Young Survivors
- Other organizations that offer breast cancer support: