Red Flags

NEW RESEARCH suggests criteria for genetic testing too restrictive


Genetic testing criteria outdated


50% of carriers have no cancer history







Current genetic testing criteria may vary slightly, but for the most part, government-insured genetic counsellors will be looking for a confirmed genetic mutation anywhere in a family, or one or more of the following within the same side of a family:

  • Multiple individuals with breast, ovarian or prostate cancer
  • Breast cancer in both breasts
  • Breast and ovarian cancer in the same individual
  • Women with early onset breast or ovarian cancer
  • Breast cancer that is triple negative at 50 or younger
  • Breast or ovarian cancer in a families with Ashkenazi Jewish heritage
  • Men with breast cancer
  • Men with early onset prostate cancer
  • Multiple individuals with uterine, stomach, colon, melanoma or pancreatic cancer


If your family has one or more of these red flags listed above, gather your family's cancer history  (you can print the form to the right for that purpose) and take it to your general practitioner to discuss the possibility of government-insured genetic testing. 


If your family history does not satisfy your health region's criteria for government-insured genetic testing, you are facing long wait times, or your doctor does not believe your history warrants genetic testing but you still want it for piece of mind, there are now many affordable, quick-turnaround services available through private clinics or online.  

Family History Form