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Genetic testing is the process of determining your precise genetic make-up, typically looking at very specific genes that are known to increase the risk of developing a disease. Genetic testing may be indicated if you or a family member has been diagnosed with a cancer that has a genetic component.
Who should consider cancer genetic testing?
Individuals who have a reasonable likelihood of carrying a genetic change predisposing them to a higher cancer risk are offered available genetic tests.
Genetic testing is recommended only after discussing the significance and implications of potential outcomes including finding a positive result, a negative result and an indeterminate result.
Patients who opt for testing should be confident that they understand the meaning of their test result and this should allow them to make more informed choices about their cancer risk management.
Stanford's Cancer Center doctors and researchers have been instrumental in developing many of the leading technologies used to understand, diagnose, test, and screen for hereditary cancer syndromes. This expertise allows our specialists to offer you personalized plans for managing your cancer risk.
If appropriate, genetic testing is offered to at-risk individuals, but only after the benefits, risks and limits of each test are carefully considered.
Choosing if and when to test is ultimately a very personal decision. Our goals are to educate people about familial cancer, provide clear options for medical or surgical interventions, and enhance the quality of life for high-risk cancer families.