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Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer

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

Genetic counseling and testing guidelines for colorectal and endometrial cancer (Lynch Syndrome)

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) is a consortium of cancer centers with experts in management of hereditary cancer who meet annually to make recommendations on cancer care. The NCCN updates their guidelines for genetic counseling and testing annually based on the latest research. In general, most doctors consider these guidelines the standard of care.

NCCN guidelines recommend that patients and people with a family history of cancer who meet any of the criteria below be referred to a genetics expert for evaluation for Lynch Syndrome

  • Anyone with a blood relative with a known mutation in a gene that increases cancer risk
  • Anyone diagnosed with colorectal or endometrial cancer and any of the following:
    • Diagnosed before age 50
    • A tumor test results that suggests Lynch Syndrome
    • Diagnosed with another cancer associated with Lynch Syndrome
    • One or more first degree relatives or second degree relatives diagnosed with a cancer associated with Lynch Syndrome before age 50
    • Two or more first degree relatives or second degree relatives diagnosed with a cancer associated with Lynch Syndrome at any age
  • Anyone with any of the following family history:
    • One or more first degree relatives diagnosed with colorectal or endometrial cancer before age 50
    • One or more first degree relatives diagnosed with colorectal or endometrial cancer and a second cancer associated with Lynch Syndrome
    • Two or more first degree or second degree relatives with a Lynch Syndrome related cancer, including at least one diagnosed on or before age 50
    • Three or more first degree or second degree relatives with a Lynch Syndrome related cancer diagnosed at any age

If you are uncertain if you meet the guidelines above and you are interested in or considering undergoing genetic testing, you should speak with a cancer genetics expert.

Updated 11/05/2018

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