Hereditary Cancer Program

It can be upsetting to find out you've inherited a genetic change that increases your risk for  ovarian cancer or breast cancer. You can find comfort in knowing that researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Women’s Cancer Program are exploring ways to lower your cancer risk—and detect cancer in its earliest stages.

To achieve this goal, our researchers, as well as researchers worldwide, rely on information from the Cedars-Sinai Hereditary Cancer Program. This program manages one of the world's largest registries of people who have undergone testing for genetic changes known as BRCA gene mutations.

What Is BRCA?

Everyone has BRCA genes. These genes typically protect against cancer. Some people inherit mutated BRCA genes from either their mother or father. This mutated gene increases cancer risk.

  • Women who inherit a mutated BRCA gene:
    May develop breast cancer, ovarian cancer or both at a younger age than women who don't have this mutation.
  • Men who inherit a mutated BRCA gene:
    Have an increased lifetime risk of prostate cancer, pancreatic cancer and breast cancer.

About the Cedars-Sinai Hereditary Cancer Program

Thousands of people have voluntarily shared their BRCA genetic testing information with our registry. Our doctors and researchers rely on this information to conduct research that has the potential to save lives.

  • Who we are: The Hereditary Cancer Program is part of the Women's Cancer Program at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute. Our women's cancer research team includes experts in gynecologic oncology, genetics, research, surgery, radiology, pathology and other specialties.
  • What we do: We collect and maintain information from women and men who have undergone BRCA gene testing, regardless of whether test results are positive or negative. This information helps researchers better understand why some people with BRCA gene mutations develop certain cancers while others do not.
  • How we help: Researchers around the world rely on our program to conduct studies, including women's cancer clinical trials. Samples donated to our Gynecologic Tissue Bank help researchers understand how women's cancers develop and grow.

Register With Our Program to Help

Both women and men may enroll in the Hereditary Cancer Program. We compile information on people who test positive for the BRCA gene mutation, as well as those who test negative but have a family history of cancer. To join the registry, you must:

  • Undergo genetic testing for the BRCA gene mutation
  • Complete a questionnaire every year
  • Provide blood samples when requested
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