Genetic Testing

Individuals can consider genetic testing if any one of the following are true:

  • Cancer diagnosed under age 50

  • Ovarian cancer

  • Male diagnosed with breast cancer

  • Bilateral breast cancer, or multiple cancers diagnosed in one individual

  • Three or more relatives with breast, ovarian, colon and/or uterine cancer

  • More than 10 colorectal polyps

  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry

  • Family member with a known genetic mutation

How Genetic Testing Works

To perform genetic testing, the individual simply needs to provide a blood or saliva sample. If a genetic mutation is found, that does not mean the patient has cancer. Instead, the positive result lets the individual know what cancer he/she could develop in the future and allows the patient to take preventive steps through increased screening and surveillance. Additionally, if a genetic mutation is identified, other family members can undergo genetic testing to determine if they also inherited the mutation. If cancer does develop, it can hopefully be caught at an earlier and more treatable stage.


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