In some cases, people have a higher risk for cancer due to inherited genetic mutations. Recognizing this risk can allow for earlier detection, and even prevention of some cancers. And cancer can be passed from the mother or father’s side of the family. Are you concerned about cancer in your family? Schedule an appointment with a genetic counselor to learn more about your risk and if genetic testing could be helpful for you.

As shared in this video, people may learn that they carry a genetic mutation that increases the risk for cancer at different times in their lives. Many people don’t find out until after they have already developed cancer. In some cases, information about genetics and cancer can be used to guide cancer care. Some people learn that they carry a genetic mutation before having any cancer. With the knowledge that they have a higher risk of cancer, they may decide to have more frequent and more detailed screening (such as breast MRI in addition to annual mammograms) which can lead to the earliest possible detection. Some people may decide to have preventive surgeries to decrease the likelihood that they will develop cancer.

Additional Resources 

*FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered) 
The FORCE mission is to improve the lives of individuals and families facing hereditary cancer. Resources include peer navigation and expert-reviewed information. 

*Cascade Screening Connector
Genetic Support Foundation has partnered with the Washington State Department of Health to provide cascade screening to help people identify and contact family members who may have an increased chance of developing cancer.

*Us Too International – Us TOO International is a nonprofit organization focused on support and education for men with prostate cancer and their loved ones. See here for information about genetics and prostate cancer.

*Health Experiences USA This national research project brings patient voices into the healthcare experience and features video clips of people facing hereditary cancer. Individuals from a variety of backgrounds share both positive and negative experiences about living with hereditary cancer. 

*National Cancer Institute The national cancer Institute provides a wealth of information about cancer including information about hereditary cancer.


*AliveAndKickn AliveAndKickn is a nonprofit working to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by Lynch Syndrome and associated cancers through research, education, and screening. 

Questions? Please call us at 844.743.6384