GenPath logo in conjunction with urology

Hereditary Cancer

Hereditary cancer syndromes are caused by mutations (changes) in genes that are passed from parent to child which cause a higher-than-normal chance of developing cancer.1

Hereditary cancer syndromes may cause specific patterns of cancer within a family such as multiple family members with the same type of cancer or cancer at younger ages. Some cancers known to be associated with these genes are breast, ovarian, prostate, pancreatic, endometrial, and colorectal cancer. Overall, 5-10% of all cancers are thought to be related to a hereditary cancer syndrome.1

Hereditary Prostate Cancer

Men who have a father or a brother who has had prostate cancer have twice the risk of developing prostate cancer than a man without a family history of the disease. Inherited mutations, or changes of a gene, cause about 5% to 10% of prostate cancers.2

Hereditary Renal Cancer

Renal (kidney) cancer is among the top 10 most prevalent cancers in both men and women. Statistics show that men are twice as likely to develop kidney cancer versus women. Approximately 3-5% of renal cancer cases are hereditary.3

Genetic Testing for Hereditary Cancer Syndromes

Genetic testing for hereditary cancer syndromes can help identify your risk of developing cancer. Your healthcare provider may recommend you be screened for a hereditary cancer syndrome, especially if you have been diagnosed with cancer at an early age or if certain cancers run in your family.1

Getting Tested

GenPath offers a comprehensive menu of panels to test key genes associated with increased susceptibility to many cancers. Patients who meet certain criteria, including their family history, age of onset of cancer, aggressiveness of cancer, and other factors may benefit from genetic testing.


  1. National Institutes of Health. Accessed April 22, 2019.
  2. American Cancer Society. Accessed May 22, 2019.
  3. National Kidney Foundation. Hereditary Kidney Cancer Syndromes. Accessed May 22, 2019.