Genetic testing for people who have never been diagnosed with cancer
Experts recommend that people with any of the following family history should speak to a genetics expert about genetic testing:
|Any relative who has tested positive for an inherited mutation in a gene that increases cancer risk.|
One or more first- or second-degree relatives with breast cancer and any of the following:
One or more first- or second-degree relatives with:
Two or more relatives on the same side of the family diagnosed with any combination of the following at any age:
|You are of Eastern European Jewish ancestry and have any relatives with breast, ovarian or pancreatic cancer at any age.|
Other people who may benefit from genetic counseling and testing
- People of Eastern European Jewish ancestry—even those without any family history of cancer—may wish to speak with a genetic counselor about testing.
- You may benefit from genetic counseling if you have had more than 10 colon polyps.
- You may also benefit from additional genetic counseling and expanded genetic testing if you had genetic testing in the past, you tested negative, and all of the following apply:
- you have a family history of cancer that matches any of the situations listed above.
- your genetic test only looked at one, or a few genes.
- none of your relatives have tested positive for an inherited gene mutation.
See our section Testing Guidelines by Cancer Type 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.
Healthcare providers who are specially trained in genetics can help people diagnosed with cancer learn if they have an inherited mutation that increases their risk for cancer. There are several ways to find a genetics expert:
- 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.
- 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, can connect you with a volunteer board-certified genetic counselor who can answer general questions about genetic testing and hereditary cancer and help you find a genetic counselor 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.
If you are considering genetic testing, you can find peer support through the following resources:
- Register for the FORCE Message Boards to connect with others who share your situation.
- FORCE's Peer Navigation Program will match you with a volunteer who shares your mutation and situation and provide you with a free resource guide.
- Contact the FORCE impact leaders in your area to link to local support groups and other resources.
- Attend a virtual support meeting in your area.
- Read the stories from members of our community.