Hereditary Cancer Screening

If you have a family history of certain types of cancer, you may have a higer chance of developing the disease. Genetic testing looks for mutations in your genes that affect your cancer risk.

Our board-certified genetic counselors provide comprehensive and compassionate care to help you understand your cancer risk. We work with you to develop a plan for managing and preventing disease.

Who Needs Genetic Testing for Cancer?

You should consider genetic counseling and testing if you have any of the following:

  • Several first-degree relatives (parents, siblings or children) with cancer
  • Several relatives on one side of the family with the same type of cancer, including those linked to a known gene mutation such as breast, ovarian and pancreatic cancer
  • A family member with a rare cancer, more than one type of cancer, or any cancer at an age younger than normal for that type of cancer
  • A physical condition that can indicate inherited cancer, such as colon polyps
  • Membership in a race or ethnic group with known inherited gene mutations (for example, Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry is linked to breast and ovarian cancer)
  • One or more family members who already completed genetic testing and have a known genetic mutation

What to Expect With Genetic Testing

Genetic testing tells you if you have a genetic mutation that’s linked to cancer. Testing does not reveal if you will or will not develop the disease.

Genetic testing steps include:

  • Risk assessment: We ask about your and your family’s health histories. This information helps us detect patterns of cancer in your family and predict your cancer risk.
  • Genetic counseling: Your genetic counselor explains your risk assessment and how genetic testing works. You discuss the pros, cons, costs and limitations of testing to ensure you make an informed choice.
  • Genetic testing: If you consent to genetic testing, we take samples of blood, saliva, cells, or other bodily tissue or fluid. We send the samples to a lab.
  • Results: We tell you if you have any genetic mutations (positive) and what these mutations could indicate. If your test is positive, we outline a plan to help you and your family manage risks and prevent disease. The results could also be negative or inconclusive.

Standing Up to Stage 4 Breast Cancer

In 2019, 28-year-old Holly Hammond was diagnosed with stage 4 triple-negative breast cancer. Inspired by her positivity, Holly's care team at Cedars-Sinai Cancer in Tarzana problem-solved its way through her harrowing cancer journey.

Related Programs & Services

Genetic testing is one tool in our fight against cancer. Learn how we support patients and their families.

Have Questions or Need Help?

Call the Hereditary Cancer Screening team. You can also have us call you back at your convenience.