Family members (including teenagers, occasionally) of someone with a faulty CDKN2A gene can have genetic testing to check who has the faulty gene and who does not. Their doctor can refer them to a genetic service to find out more about their chance of developing cancer and what genetic testing involves.
If a person does have the faulty CDKN2A gene:
- they can pass it on to their children
- each child has a 50% (1 in 2) chance of being born with it. Pregnancy planning options are available to people who want to prevent the faulty gene being passed on.
If a person does not have the faulty CDKN2A gene:
- they have a lower chance of developing melanoma than family members who have the faulty CDKN2A gene
- they have a higher chance of developing melanoma than the general population. A genetic service can further discuss this risk and what can be done about it
- they cannot pass it on to their children. However, their children may still have an increased chance of developing melanoma.
People who decide not to have genetic testing should still get advice about managing their chance of developing cancer.