Genetic and genomic testing

Genetic testing – sometimes called genomic testing – finds changes in genes that can cause health problems. It's mainly used to diagnose rare and inherited health conditions and some cancers.

Why would I be offered a genetic test?

You may be offered a genetic test because:

  • your doctor thinks you might have a health condition caused by a change to 1 or more of your genes
  • someone in your family has a health condition that's caused by changes to genes
  • some of your close relatives have had a particular type of cancer that could be inherited
  • you or your partner have a health condition that could be passed on to your children

If you have any questions, talk to your doctor about having a genetic test.

What a genetic test can tell me

A genetic test can:

  • help to diagnose a rare health condition in a child
  • help you understand whether an inherited health condition may affect you, your child or another family member, and help you decide whether to have children
  • show if you are at higher risk of getting certain health conditions, including some types of cancer
  • guide doctors in deciding what medicine or treatment to give you
  • guide doctors on whether you're able to join a clinical trial