This section provides information on the following topics:

The Genetics of Cancer

This article provides an overview of cancer genetics, including a definition of genes and the genes that play a role in cancer.

Genetic Testing for Cancer Risk

Genetic testing now makes it possible, in some cases, to identify individuals who are at increased risk for developing cancer, but deciding to be tested is a complex decision.

Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing

You may have seen at-home genetic tests advertised on the Internet, television, or elsewhere that can be used to check your risk for specific diseases, including cancer. These tests are called direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests. DTC genetic test kits include instructions for collecting a saliva or blood sample that is mailed to a laboratory for testing. Test results are then provided to you by mail, online, or over the phone.

Collecting Your Cancer Family History

Learning about your family cancer history and sharing it with your doctor helps you and your doctor make the best possible decisions about your cancer care. It also provides valuable knowledge to family members who may potentially be affected by this information.

Sharing Genetic Test Results With Your Family

The results from genetic testing will provide information about potential cancer risks for family members. This article will touch on sharing positive test results with adults and children.