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 discussed the possibility of getting a genetic test for cancer risk.

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Introduction

Genetic testing looks for specific inherited 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

Breast and Ovarian Cancer

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 Discussed the Possibility of a Genetic Test for Cancer RiskClick to see the detailed trend graph for Discussed the Possibility of a Genetic Test for Cancer Risk 22.9 12.8 - 37.6
¹ Analysis includes females who met the USPSTF guidelines based on family history of breast and ovarian cancer.

Colorectal Cancer

Genetic Counseling
Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older with a personal history of colorectal cancer who had discussed the possibility of getting a genetic test for cancer risk with a doctor or other health professional by sex, 2005-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults with personal history of colorectal cancer 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older with a personal history of colorectal cancer who had discussed the possibility of getting a genetic test for cancer risk with a doctor or other health professional by sex, 2005-2015 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 10.3 6.0 - 17.1
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 7.6 3.3 - 16.6
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 12.6 6.2 - 23.9
Genetic Testing
Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older with a personal history of colorectal cancer who had a genetic test for cancer risk by sex, 2005-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults with personal history of colorectal cancer 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older with a personal history of colorectal cancer  who had a genetic test for cancer risk by sex, 2005-2015 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 6.1 2.9 - 12.3
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 2.0 0.7 - 5.4
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 9.8 4.3 - 21.1

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