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Hereditary Cancer Syndromes and Risk Assessment


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doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000003563
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  • A hereditary cancer risk assessment is the key to identifying patients and families who may be at increased risk of developing certain types of cancer. Assessments should be performed by obstetrician–gynecologists or other obstetric–gynecologic care providers and should be updated regularly.
  • If a hereditary cancer risk assessment suggests an increased risk of a hereditary cancer syndrome, referral to a specialist in cancer genetics or a health care provider with expertise in genetics is recommended for expanded gathering of family history information, risk assessment, education, and counseling, which may lead to genetic testing and tailored cancer screening or risk reduction measures, or both.
  • Genetic testing may be performed using a panel of multiple genes through next-generation sequencing technology. This multigene testing process increases the likelihood of finding variants of unknown significance, and it also allows for testing for pathogenic and likely pathogenic variants in multiple genes that may be associated with a specific cancer syndrome or family cancer phenotype (or multiple phenotypes).

Number 793 (Replaces Committee Opinion Number 634, June 2015)

For a comprehensive overview of these recommendations, the full-text version of this Committee Opinion is available at

Scan this QR code with your smartphone to view the full-text version of this Committee Opinion.

Committee on Genetics

This Committee Opinion was developed by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (ACOG) Committee on Genetics in collaboration with the Society of Gynecologic Oncology liaison members, Lee-may Chen, MD and Susan Modesitt, MD.

Full-text document published online on November 20, 2019.

Copyright 2019 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, posted on the internet, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher.

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Official Citation

Hereditary cancer syndromes and risk assessment. ACOG Committee Opinion No. 793. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstet Gynecol 2019;134:e143–9.

© 2019 by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.