Hereditary Cancer and You

The occurrence of cancer may or may not be associated with your family history.

The occurrence of cancer may or may not be associated with your family history. Most cancers occur in people who do not have a family history and are called “sporadic cancer.” In some families, cancer happens more often than we would expect in the general population.

These type of cancers fall into two different groups:

  • “familial cancer” is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors
  • “hereditary cancer” is when a person inherited a faulty gene making cancer more likely to occur.

Approximately 5%-10% of all cancers develop because a person inherited a faulty gene.

Men and women with these type of genes are far more likely to develop certain cancers, often at a much earlier age than expected and may have an increased risk of developing more than one cancer in their lifetime.

  • Sporadic
  • Familial (15-25%)
  • Hereditary (5-10%)

Red Flags for Hereditary Cancer

An individual with a personal or family history of any ONE of the following:

A combination of cancers on the same side of the family

  • 2 or more: breast / ovarian / prostate / pancreatic cancer
  • 2 or more: colorectal / endometrial / ovarian / gastric / pancreatic / other cancers (i.e., ureter/renal pelvis, biliary tract, small bowel, brain, sebaceous adenomas)
  • 2 or more: melanoma / pancreatic cancer

Any one of the following cancers at age 50 or younger

  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Endometrial cancer

Any one of these rare presentations at any age

  • Metastatic prostate cancer
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Breast: male breast cancer or triple negative breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer with abnormal MSI/IHC, MSI associated histology††
  • Endometrial cancer with abnormal MSI/IHC
  • 10 or more gastrointestinal polyps*
Certain ancestries may have greater risk for hereditary cancer syndromes (e.g., Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry)
*Inherited DNA-Repair Gene Mutations in Men with Metatstatic Prostate Cancer. Pritchard C, et al. NEJM 2016;375:443-53. †Presence of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes, Crohn’s-like lymphocytic reaction, mucinous/signet-ring differentiation, or medullary growth pattern. ††Adenomatous type. Assessment criteria based on medical society guidelines. For these individual medical society guidelines, go to Family members include first-, second-, and third-degree blood relatives on both your mother’s and father’s sides.

Find out if you might be at risk.

Take a minute out of your day for your health by completing this quiz now.

Understanding Your Cancer Risk:

Medical management of individuals with higher risk of cancer (i.e. hereditary risk) can be very different compared to people with a lower cancer risk (i.e. general population risk).

To understand your cancer risk, complete a family history questionnaire and review it with your physician. If there are concerns, your doctor may recommend genetic testing for hereditary cancer. With this information, the most appropriate medical management can be discussed.

Early detection of cancer is key. Therefore, medical societies recommend increased screening starting at earlier ages. Additionally, some patients may choose to have preventive surgery or are prescribed medications that may reduce the risk of developing certain cancers.

Myriad myRisk analyzes multiple genes associated with overlapping cancer risk.

What is Myriad myRisk?

Myriad myRisk is the only hereditary cancer test that combines your genetic information with your personal and family history to provide management options to help you lower cancer risks.

What does Myriad myRisk do for you?

The test result provides critical information to help your healthcare provider create a personalized cancer medical treatment and risk-reduction plan.

What does Myriad myRisk test?

Myriad myRisk looks at multiple genes that are part of inherited risks for eight common cancers. Testing multiple genes increases the chance of finding an explanation for your personal and/or family history of cancer.

Why Myriad myRisk?

Myriad myRisk incorporates your family history and genetic results to help optimize your medical management. Myriad is a leader in genetic testing for hereditary cancer with over 25 years of experience. myRisk provides highly accurate and fast results.

Other questions you might be asking

Who is Myriad

With over 25 years of experience and more than 2 million people tested, Myriad is the established leader in the field of hereditary genetic testing. Myriad’s genetic tests are known for quality
and accuracy. The extensive knowledge base, a highly specialized professional staff, and the commitment to support healthcare providers and patients make Myriad the leader in genetic testing for hereditary cancer.

What is Myriad’s lifetime commitment

Myriad performs ongoing investigations and research on all findings. Your healthcare provider will be contacted if new genetic information affects your medical management. Patients who were previously tested by Myriad may benefit from test updates to adjust their personal cancer risk-reduction plans.
and accuracy. The extensive knowledge base, a highly specialized professional staff, and the commitment to support healthcare providers and patients make Myriad the leader in genetic testing for hereditary cancer.

Can my health insurance coverage be impacted by the results

The Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act (GINA) and laws in most states prohibit discrimination regarding employment eligibility, health benefits, or health insurance premiums solely on the basis of genetic information.

Our Promise

Because patients and their families use test results to make life saving medical decisions, Myriad promises to provide affordable access to testing, a lifetime commitment to accurate results, and comprehensive support for ALL appropriate patients and their families.

When one of our tests is ordered for you, we will work with your insurance provider to access the best coverage allowed by your plan.

Coverage is excellent:


The average patient out-of-pocket cost
3 out of 4 patients pay $0
of private insurance companies have coverage for hereditary cancer testing

You may qualify for Myriad’s Financial Assistance Program (MFAP) if you meet certain medical and financial criteria.

If you encounter ANY financial hardship associated with your bill, Myriad will work directly with you toward your complete satisfaction.

If you have questions regarding your insurance Explanation of Benefits or less frequently, a Myriad bill, please contact Myriad rather than your healthcare provider. Myriad is here to help:

844-MYRIAD9 (844-697-4239) or

The mySupport360® Community

  • Helps guide patients and their family members through the genetic testing process
  • Provides valuable information along the way and serves as an avenue to hear from others who are facing the same decisions

Your healthcare provider is always your number one resource. You are also invited to visit Whether you are undertaking the hereditary cancer testing journey for yourself, a loved one, or a friend, mySupport360 will help keep you informed, proactive and confidently prepared throughout the process.