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This section is for anybody who is worried that cancer may run in their family. It's also for people who have been advised, or who have decided, to see a cancer genetics specialist or genetic counsellor.
If you don't have at least two relatives with the same type of cancer on the same side of your family, the information in this section is probably not relevant to you.
Find out more about how cancer risk is affected by family history
Learn about genes, what they are made up of, and their function
Find out what a risk factor for cancer is, and what the main risk factors are
Read about genetic testing, including who can have it, what it involves and what the possible results are
Get information about inherited cancers, which cancers in a family may be linked, when to visit your GP and what happens at a genetics clinic
Read about ways of managing your risk of cancer if you've been told you may be at an increased risk, including screening, surgery, research trials and lifestyle changes
Find out how common genetic causes for cancer are
Read about how genes can affect cancer risk and how genes are inherited
Find out what genetic counselling involves, how to get the most out of it and how your personal risk is assessed
Read about things you might need to consider before having a genetic test, such as family information, insurance and confidentiality
If you have a higher risk of cancer you can find support to make it easier to cope
Sources of information for the genetics section
For answers, support or just a chat, call the Macmillan Support Line free (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm).
If you have any questions about cancer, need support or just want someone to talk to, ask Macmillan.
Health & social care professionals section|
Our online tool may be helpful if you are concerned about a family history of breast or ovarian cancer.
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2014
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