What Is Hereditary Cancer?

In every family there are certain traits and characteristics that are passed down from one generation to the next. Obvious traits might include things such as eye and hair color. Less obvious are inherited genetic traits that control whether or not someone could develop specific diseases, such as some cancers.

However, the occurrence of cancer may or may not be associated with a person’s family history. In fact, most cancers occur in people who do not have a strong family history of cancer. This is called a “sporadic cancer.” In some families there might be greater history of cancer than the average family. The more common cancers we tend to see fall into two different groups called “familial cancer” (caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors) and “hereditary cancer” (when a person inherited a faulty gene that encourages the disease to grow).

Approximately 5%-10% of all cancers are hereditary.

Individuals with these types 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.

Early detection is key.

Knowing a patient’s family history could help prevent cancer in family members. Therefore, screenings starting at earlier ages are recommended. Some patients may even decide to take it a step further than screening and have preventative surgery to reduce their 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 a patient’s genetic information with their personal and family history to provide management options to help lower cancer risk.

What does Myriad myRisk do?

The test results provide critical information to help patients and physicians 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 of the most common cancers. Those cancers include, prostate, pancreatic, colon, gastric, melanoma, endometrial, ovarian and breast. Testing multiple genes increases the chance of finding an explanation for a patient’s personal and/or family history of cancer.

Why test with Myriad myRisk?

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

Red flags for hereditary cancer related to prostate cancer patients:

  • Metastatic prostate cancer
  • Prostate cancer patient with a Gleason score of 7 or higher AND
    • One close blood relative with metastatic prostate, ovarian, pancreatic cancer at any age or breast cancer < 50 years
    • Two close blood relatives on the same side of the family with breast, or prostate cancers at any age
    • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry

Complete the family history questionnaire below to find out if you could be at risk for hereditary cancer.

Take Family History Questionnaire

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