Cancer Risk Assessment, Testing and Management

This free, online educational program from The Jackson Laboratory helps health care providers improve their cancer risk assessment and prevention practice through targeted family history screening. The program is for practicing primary care providers as well as students and residents. Highlights of the program include:

  • Strategies to use family history to identify patients at increased risk of a genetic syndrome, such as hereditary breast and ovarian cancer, for earlier or more frequent cancer screening.
  • Application of new USPSTF guidelines recommending family history screening for all patients with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Learning through 15-minute interactive Web cases and downloadable point-of-care tools that can be used in the clinic.
  • Free CME.
Working through demonstration videos of clinical interactions and practice cases, learners will practice identifying, assessing, and managing patients who are at different levels of cancer risk. The program also provides strategies for finding and collaborating with genetic experts, approaches to communicating risk, and tools to use in practice.
A brief registration is required for full access.
How to use this program:

This program is designed for self-directed learning. Educators can use the program in curriculum by incorporating specific elements (e.g., demonstration video, point of care tool) into a course or by assigning one or more modules to students for preparation or homework.

Type Course
CME Available Yes
Cost Free; Requires registration
Date of Resource 2012

Genomic Competencies

Experts from the disciplines listed below have tagged this resource as fulfulling genomic competencies.


  • Family History
    • P-FH1B:   Knowledge for Practice
      • 1B1:   Describe the basic patterns of Mendelian inheritance
      • 1B2:   Explain the difference between Mendelian and multifactorial inheritance
    • P-FH1D:   Interpersonal and Communication Skills
      • 1D1:   Explain and document findings from family history to patient, including implications for other family members
    • P-FH1E:   Professionalism
      • 1E2:   Explain to patient relevant social and legal risks related to family history as well as relevant legal protections
    • P-FH1F:   Systems-Based Practice
      • 1F1:   Focus family history on problems relevant to the individual patient’s health
      • 1F2:   Facilitate patient’s desire to communicate relevant family history information among health providers and family members
    • P-FH1G:   Interprofessional Collaboration
      • 1G1:   Make appropriate referrals for specialty evaluation based on results of family history
    • P-FH1H:   Personal and Professional Development
      • 1H1:   Identify sources of information on genetic disorders, such as OMIM (online Mendelian Inheritance in Man) and GeneReviews
      • 1H2:   Maintain continuing medical education on matters of medical genetics
  • Genomic Testing
    • P-GT2A:   Patient Care
      • 2A1:   Discuss the indications for genomic testing - specifically the benefits, risks, and alternatives
      • 2A7:   Provide referral to an appropriate specialist for genomic testing of a condition outside the physician’s scope of practice
    • P-GT2G:   Interprofessional Collaboration
      • 2G1:   Initiate responsible referrals to specialists or other health professionals

Genetic Counselor

  • Genetics Expertise and Analysis
    • 1:   Demonstrate and utilize a depth and breadth of understanding and knowledge of genetics and genomics core concepts and principles.
      • 1a:   Demonstrate knowledge of principles of human, medical, and public health genetics and genomics and their related sciences.
    • 3:   Construct relevant, targeted and comprehensive personal and family histories and pedigrees.
      • 3b:   Utilize interviewing skills to elicit a family history and pursue a relevant path of inquiry.
      • 3d:   Elicit and assess pertinent information relating to medical, developmental, pregnancy and psychosocial histories.
    • 5:   Assess individuals' and their relatives' probability of conditions with a genetic component or carrier status based on their pedigree, test result(s), and other pertinent information.
      • 5a:   Assess probability of conditions with a genetic component or carrier status using relevant knowledge and data based on pedigree analysis, inheritance patterns, genetic epidemiology, quantitative genetics principles, and mathematical calculations.