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National Institutes of Health
National Cancer Institute

An updated version of Understanding Gene Testing is part of the Understanding Cancer series located at: http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/understandingcancer

What are genes?
How do genes work?
How are genes linked to disease?
How does a faulty gene trigger disease?
How do gene mistakes occur?
How does heredity influence disease?
What is gene testing?
What are the uses of genetic testing?
How are disease genes identified?
What types of diseases can be predicted with gene tests?
What is the relationship between genes and cancer?
What does a predictive gene test tell you?
How do scientists develop predictive gene tests?
What is the current status of predictive gene testing for cancer?
What are the benefits of gene testing?
What additional benefits may be expected from gene testing?
What are the limitations of gene testing?
What are the risks of gene testing?
What is the role of genetic counseling?
Who are candidates for gene testing?
What obstacles stand in the way of wide-scale testing?
How can someone decide whether to have a gene test?
What are today's options?
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