Your genes can be an important tool for managing cancer

Genetic testing can provide a clearer picture of what to do next

Navigating cancer is not a one-size-fits-all experience. Understanding if you have a genetic mutation can help you and your doctor personalize your treatment. Genetic testing is recommended for:

  • The American Society of Breast Surgeons recommends that genetic testing be made available to all patients with breast cancer.1
  • All men with metastatic prostate cancer are encouraged to consider genetic testing.2
  • Up to 1 in 6 men with prostate cancer has an inherited genetic mutation.3
  • Medical guidelines recommended genetic testing for all patients with ovarian cancer, fallopian tube cancer, and primary peritoneal cancer.4
  • Up to 1 in 4 patients with ovarian cancer has an inherited genetic mutation.5
  • Medical guidelines recommend genetic testing for patients with pancreatic cancer.6
  • Up to 1 in 5 patients with pancreatic cancer has an inherited genetic mutation.7
Invitae kit box: Blob-polo

The benefits of genetic testing

Knowing your genetic makeup can help your doctor determine the best next steps for you.
  • Treatment

    Results may direct your doctor to therapies that may be more likely to work for you, including specific types of surgeries, chemotherapies, or targeted treatments.

    In some cases, they can also qualify you for clinical trials.

  • Future Health

    Results may suggest how likely it is that you’ll develop another cancer in the future, so you can be proactive and consider with your doctor risk-reducing surgery, medicines that can prevent cancer from developing (“chemoprevention”), or increased screenings going forward.
  • Family members

    Discovering that you have a genetic mutation means that your family members may also be at risk.

    They can get tested too and, if they also have the genetic change, can get more frequent cancer screenings so they can act early, when treatment is most effective.


1.American Society of Breast Surgeons. Consensus guideline on genetic testing for hereditary breast cancer. Issued February 10, 2019.

2.Giri VN, Knudsen KE, Kelly WK, et al. Implementation of germline testing for prostate cancer: Philadelphia Prostate Cancer Consensus Conference 2019. J Clin Oncol. 2020;38(24):2798–2811.

3.Nicolosi P, Ledet E, Yang S, et al. Prevalence of germline variants in prostate cancer and implications for current genetic testing guidelines. JAMA Oncol. 2019;5(4):523–528.

4.Daly MB, Axilbund JE, Buys S, et al. The NCCN genetic/familial high-risk assessment: breast and ovarian clinical practice guidelines in oncologyTM. J Natl Compr Canc Netw. 2010;8(5)562–594.

5.Walsh T, Casadei S, Lee MK, et al. Mutations in 12 genes for inherited ovarian, fallopian tube, and peritoneal carcinoma identified by massively parallel sequencing. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2011;108(44):18032–18037.

6.Invitae Data on File.

7.Hu C, Hart SN, Polley EC, et al. Association between inherited germline mutations in cancer predisposition genes and risk of pancreatic cancer. JAMA. 2018;319(23):2401–2409.