About Hereditary Cancer Testing: The Basics

Let’s start with what it means to consider testing and what a hereditary cancer test like MyRisk™ can tell you.

Why did my answers indicate I should consider hereditary cancer testing?

Your personal and family history of cancer are two major factors that indicate you should consider hereditary cancer testing. For example, if there are many people in your family with the same type(s) of cancer, if you have a relative affected by cancer at a younger age or have a relative with a rare type of cancer, that means you may be at risk of having inherited a genetic mutation associated with increased cancer risk. This doesn’t mean you will have a genetic mutation, but genetic testing is something to consider doing.

Let’s take a step back. What is a genetic variant anyway, and what does it mean if I have one associated with hereditary cancer risk?

A genetic variant is a type of change in a gene that may cause a difference in the way that gene functions. Some gene changes are associated with having red hair or blue eyes. Other times, they can be associated with serious health impacts, like an increased risk of cancer.1

If you have a genetic variant that is related to hereditary cancer risk, that means that you likely have a higher chance of developing cancer than the general population – but it does NOT mean you will definitely develop cancer. Your chance of developing cancer varies based on the specific mutation that you have, as well as other personal health related factors.

There are a lot of genetic tests out there. What’s unique about the MyRisk™ test?

The MyRisk test is a multi-gene panel test that determines hereditary cancer risk associated with 11 different cancer sites. Unlike some other genetic tests you may see advertised, MyRisk™ is a medical grade test that gives you and your provider clinically actionable results and guidance for how to best manage your risk. Because of this, a healthcare provider must order the MyRisk™ test for you.

If you think you’re ready to take the next step, click here to explore ways to test with your own healthcare provider or use online genetic testing options.

Have more questions? We’re here to help you every step of the way. Give our customer service team a call at 833-398-2137 or email [email protected].

References:
  1. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/genetics-dictionary/search/mutation/?searchMode=Begins

Myriad Genetics Blog: Shelly Cummings

In recognition GC Awareness Day and GC Awareness Month, get to know Shelly Cummings, one of Myriad’s genetic counselors.