Cancer Institute A national cancer institute
designated cancer center

Genetic Testing

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 Expertise

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.

Genes Affect Families

Because genes are inherited from family members, testing may involve other close members of your family. A genetic counselor can look at your family pedigree and determine which other family members may be at risk of developing cancer. Your counselor can help you notify these individuals if you desire, and counsel them about testing and disease prevention.

Contact Information

Phone: (650) 724-4363

Fax: (650) 498-5150


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