8 Myths About Men and Hereditary Cancer


True or false? Men don’t need genetic testing since hereditary cancer risks only impact women.

Answer: False. The notion that men carrying hereditary cancer mutations are at less risk of developing cancer or passing the mutation onto their children is just one of the myths surrounding men and genetic testing. This misinformation has implications not only for individuals but also for their entire families. Because of this, all men with a strong family history of cancer (on either side) or those who have had an early onset cancer diagnosis and/or multiple primary cancers should get informed about their genetic testing options. It might just save a life.

Here are eight more FALSE myths about men and genetic testing:

1.  Only your mother’s family history counts. 2.  Men can’t carry a mutation for breast or ovarian cancer, because they don’t have breasts or ovaries. 3.  Genetic counseling is only for women. 4.  Men don’t need genetic testing because it wouldn’t impact their medical management. 5.  Men can’t get breast cancer. 6.  Insurance companies never cover genetic counseling or testing for men. 7.  Unless they have kids, men don’t need genetic testing. 8.  Hereditary cancer only affects women.

Photo by Sascha Kohlmann, via Flickr