Implications for families

Genetic changes can sometimes be passed from generation to generation. This means that your genetic information could also be important for your family members.

Your family members may want to use this information to find out about their own health risks. If your family members know their risk, they can also take action to manage their risk.

For example, genetic variants (or changes) that increase your risk of cancer can be passed down from generation to generation. This means that a genetic variant in one person can also be important for their family members.

In some families where a genetic variant is common, many family members may develop cancer. In other families, this may not be the case.

Sharing your results with family members

It’s likely that you will be encouraged to to share your results with your family members. For many families, sharing genetic results goes well. However, members of your family may react to genetic information in unexpected ways. It may make them feel worried or scared. Some members of your family may not want the information or they may not want to undergo screening tests.

Genetic counsellors, either from My Research Results or other genetic services, can support you to share genetic information with your family.

For more information about sharing genetic information with family members, we recommend the fact sheets and templates produced by the Family Ties foundation in our
Links and Downloads.