Genetic Testing

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In 2015, 22.9% of females aged 18 years and older with a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer had received genetic counseling.

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Introduction

Genetic testing looks for specific inherited harmful changes in a person’s DNA (or genetic mutations) that may increase a person’s chance of developing a disease such as cancer. Genetic testing should be considered if personal or family history suggests an inherited cancer risk condition. The test results can help guide a person’s future medical care.

A genetic counselor is a health professional who has special training in medical genetics and couseling. Any person who is considering genetic testing should speak with a genetic counselor before deciding whether to be tested. Genetic counselors can also discuss the risks, benefits, and limitations of genetic testing for individuals to help them understand their situation.

Healthy People 2020 Target

  • Increase the proportion of women with a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer who receive genetic counseling to 38.1%.

Healthy People 2020 is a set of goals set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Note: Goals are indicated as blue line on Detailed Trend Graphs.

Data Source

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. National Health Interview Survey NCI and CDC co-sponsored Cancer Control Supplement, 2005-2015.

Trends and Most Recent EstimatesHelp with navigating the graphs and data tables

Genetic Counseling

Percentage of females aged 18 years and older with a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer who had discussed the possibility of getting a genetic test for cancer risk with a doctor or other health professional¹, 2005-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of females 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of females aged 18 years and older with a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer  who had discussed the possibility of getting a genetic test for cancer risk with a doctor or other health professional¹, 2005-2015 Received Genetic Test CounselingClick to see the detailed trend graph for Received Genetic Test Counseling 22.9 12.8 - 37.6
¹ Analysis includes females who met the USPSTF guidelines based on family history of breast and ovarian cancer.

Additional Information on Genetic Testing

For the public

For health professionals

Scientific reports

Year Range

2005-2015

Recent Summary Trend Year Range

2010-2015

Recent Summary Trend

Non-Significant Change

Desired Direction

Rising