Genetic Testing

The Sanny & Jerry Ryan Center for Prevention & Genetics uses genetic risk assessment to help people understand their risks, prevent, help manage, and, in some cases, reduce the incidence of inherited disease. Currently, genetic assessments and testing options are offered for breast, ovarian endometrial and colorectal cancer.


Genetic Risk Assessment

A cancer risk assessment looks at personal and family risk factors that may put you at higher risk for cancer. Knowing your risk helps you learn what you can do to lower your chances of getting cancer.

Reasons for having a cancer risk assessment include:

  • To understand if cancer runs in your family
  • To learn if cancer has been caused by an inherited genetic change
  • To see if genetic testing will be of value to you or your family
  • To find out your risk for a genetically linked cancer
  • To learn what you can do about your risk for cancer

Genetic Testing

Genetic testing looks for specific inherited changes in a person’s chromosomes, genes, or proteins. These changes are also called mutations. The changes can have harmful, beneficial, neutral (no effect), or uncertain effects on health.

When certain cancers occur frequently in a family, it can be an important preventive step to learn if an inherited gene mutation is apparent. The cancer risks in hereditary cancer families are much higher than the general population, and steps can be taken to prevent these cancers or detect them early.


Who should consider a genetic risk assessment?

Breast and Ovarian Cancer

Personal or Family history of:

  • Breast cancer diagnosed before age 50
  • Ovarian cancer at any age
  • Two breast cancers in same person or same side of the family
  • Male breast cancer at any age
  • Triple negative breast cancer at any age
  • Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry
  • Three or more hereditary breast and ovarian cancer (HBOC)associated cancers at any age (breast, ovarian, prostate, pancreatic)
  • A previously identified HBOC syndrome mutation in your family

Colorectal Cancer

Personal or Family history of:

  • Colorectal cancer before age 50
  • Endometrial cancer before age 50
  • A previously identified Lynch syndrome gene mutation in the family
  • 2 or more Lynch syndrome cancers at any age
  • Ten or more cumulative colorectal adenomatous polyp(s)
  • A previously identified polyposis syndrome in the family

To schedule an appointment or for more information, call Sanny & Jerry Ryan Center for Prevention & Genetics at 701.732.7620

Resource Links

National Cancer Institute

National Comprehensive Cancer Network

Early Detection

For more information about any of our early detection services, please call Altru Cancer Center at 701.780.5400