Pros and cons of having a predictive genetic test

Not everyone who is eligible for the NHS test will want to have it. It's a personal decision, and should only be made after you've had genetic counselling sessions and talkedthrough what having the test means, how you may feel and how you will cope.


  • a positive result means you can take steps to manage your risk of developing cancer you canmake certain lifestyle changes to lower your risk, have regular screening andhave preventative treatment (see Managing your risk , below)
  • knowing the result may reduce any stress and anxiety that comes from not knowing


  • the results of some genetic tests are inconclusive doctors may identify a variation in a gene, but not know what effect it may have
  • a positive result may cause permanent anxiety some people would rather not knowabout their risk and only want to be told if they actually develop cancer
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018