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The Value of Genetic Counseling and Testing for Cancer

Genetic testing for cancer predisposition may provide valuable and useful insights to you, your health care providers and your family.

If you have been diagnosed with cancer, it can be helpful to know if a hereditary cancer predisposition syndrome may have contributed to the diagnosis. Identifying certain genetic mutations may help your doctors tailor treatment to your disease. Genetic counseling and testing can also help identify if other family members are at risk of developing cancer. If you do not have a personal history of cancer but do have a family history, a genetic counseling consultation can help you better understand your risk of developing cancer.

Armed with the information from your cancer genetics risk assessment, you can make informed decisions about reducing your risk and/or early detection strategies that may help reduce your chances of developing cancer.

For example, based on your results, you may decide to have colonoscopies or breast screening more often to identify potential growths in their earliest and most-easy-to-treat stages. Genetic testing may also reveal that you do not have an inherited genetic mutation — which can help ease your anxieties about developing cancer.