When Tim Petracca was diagnosed with prostate cancer at age 63, he began to think about his extensive family history of cancer. He knew of aunts, grandparents and siblings who had been diagnosed with various forms of cancer, and his own wife Laura had recently battled breast cancer. Tim knew there could be a potential impact to his own children and was scared he could pass down a cancer-causing mutation to them – something he wanted to quickly identify and better understand how to help them be proactive with their health.

Prostate cancer may be hereditary

Most cancers develop from random mutations, but up to 10 percent are inherited, or hereditary. Certain inherited genetic mutations can make it more likely that someone with the mutation will get cancer, as well as develop it earlier or even develop multiple cancers in their lifetime. Such mutations can be inherited from either parent.

Tim felt it was important to seek out what’s known as “germline” testing to find out if there was a DNA mutation running through his family and could impact his kids in the future. Certain tests like Myriad MyRisk™ Hereditary Cancer Testing offer germline testing that can identify hereditary cancer risk and provide information that can help a physician further customize cancer care. It is the same type of genetic testing that women with breast cancer and men and women with colon cancer routinely get to help customize their treatment plans.

Be proactive with germline testing

Tim’s germline results found no indication that his cancer was caused by a genetic mutation. “The value I received from germline testing was peace of mind,” Tim said after receiving his germline test results. It’s crucial to know your germline status early in your prostate cancer journey to help tailor your treatment options and identify your children’s risk of developing certain forms of cancer.

View more patient stories like Tim’s.

Does cancer run in your family? Learn more about Myriad MyRisk Hereditary Cancer Testing.