Prostate Cancer Genetic Risk Score

by NorthShore University HealthSystem

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The Prostate Cancer Genetic Risk Score (GRS), developed by NorthShore University HealthSystem scientists, can help you better understand your risk for developing prostate cancer and offers you an opportunity to speak to a certified genetic counselor to learn more about this test. Learn more about receiving your results here.

Price includes $40.00 collected for an independent physician to review and determine whether the test is appropriate for you, and for genetic counseling services.
To use this product, you must be 18 or older and be a U.S. resident. Not available for residents of Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, or Rhode Island.
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Includes a DNA kit for first-time users.


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No need for another DNA kit. Sign in​ to get started.


Know more. Know earlier.

Good For: Males of African American, East Asian, or Non-Hispanic White ethnic background who are interested in better understanding their prostate cancer risk.

What to Expect: A genetic risk score and information that can be used to understand your lifetime risk for developing prostate cancer. You will also have access to genetic counseling in case you have additional questions. View a sample report here.

Value: 1 in 7 males are diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point in their lifetime. Leverage the expertise of NorthShore's scientists and physicians to help you and your doctor take a more informed approach to prevention.

What is a genetic risk score?

A genetic risk score (GRS), sometimes known as a polygenic score or polygenic risk score, uses multiple genetic markers to calculate your chances of having a certain trait relative to the general population. These calculations can use a handful or even millions of regions in your DNA to generate a result. Learn more about genetic risk scores here.

Prostate cancer: how genetic risk scores can help

NorthShore has developed a proprietary GRS for prostate cancer that can tell you if you have an increased likelihood of developing prostate cancer during your lifetime.

The Prostate Cancer Genetic Risk Score is one important step forward to give you insight into your personal risk for prostate cancer, and may help you and your doctor make informed decisions about how to best approach medical screening. Early screening can make a big difference in the impact of prostate cancer.

Who should consider getting this test?

Any male over the age of 18 is eligible to get Prostate Cancer Genetic Risk Score by NorthShore. This test is specifically validated in males of African American, East Asian, or Non-Hispanic White ethnic backgrounds. While prostate cancer typically develops later in life, the earlier you learn about your lifetime risk the more impact you can potentially have in early detection of the disease.
Getting this test—particularly in your 40s and up when prostate cancer screening is recommended—can help you make more informed, personalized decisions regarding your prostate cancer screening.

The science

This product looks at DNA variants that are related to your risk for prostate cancer. Information from each of the individual DNA variants is combined together to calculate a single Genetic Risk Score (GRS) as an estimate for your lifetime risk for prostate cancer. We do not yet know why an individual does or does not get prostate cancer, but certain things have been identified as risk factors. Independently of the DNA variants used to calculate your GRS, there are rare DNA variants which can individually have a large impact on your risk for prostate and other cancers. These rare variants are not included in this product.

The specific variants included in the scores for this product were selected by observing which common genetic variants are found more frequently in men with prostate cancer versus those without in certain populations (currently African American, East Asian, and non-Hispanic White). Different DNA variants are used to calculate the GRS for individuals from different populations to match what has been observed in those specific populations.


Other genetic and non-genetic factors also influence your risk for prostate cancer.


  • Prostate Cancer GRS is not a diagnostic product. An estimate of your risk does not determine if you will or will not get prostate cancer.
  • This product evaluates specific variants associated with prostate cancer. It does not look at all possible genes or variants associated with prostate cancer.
  • Certain rare DNA variants have a large impact on your risk for prostate and other cancers. These rare variants are not included in this product
  • GRS results are only available for African American, East Asian, and non-Hispanic White individuals at this time.

How it works

Because this test screens for conditions that might have serious medical implications, NorthShore University HeathSystem provides a physician to review your order and health history to ensure it’s right for you before testing.

No paperwork

Answer a few questions about your health history during product registration. It takes just a few minutes.

No additional cost

The physician review of your order is included in the cost of the test, and insurance isn’t required.
Order your product
Helix sends a DNA kit to your home
Register your product and provide your health history
Provide a saliva sample and a physician will review your information
Get an email when your results are ready

The Helix DNA kit

To capture the information stored in your DNA so it can be used for this product, we need to collect a small, one-time saliva sample from you. This kit has everything you need to provide that sample from the comfort of your own home, and you’ll never have to provide another.

  • A unique Kit ID you’ll use to register your kit

  • Saliva collection tube, cap, and printed instructions

  • A small bag and prepaid box to send your saliva sample to our lab


1. Schumacher, F.R., et al., Association analyses of more than 140,000 men identify 63 new prostate cancer susceptibility loci. Nat Genet, 2018 Jul;50(7):928-936
2. Zheng SL, et al., Cumulative association of five genetic variants with prostate cancer. N Engl J Med. 2008 Feb 28;358(9):910-9.
3. Conran, C.A., et al., Population-standardized genetic risk score: the SNP-based method of choice for inherited risk assessment of prostate cancer. Asian J Androl, 2016. 18(4): p. 520-4.
4. Final Recommendation Statement: Prostate Cancer: Screening. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. October 2018.

About NorthShore University HealthSystem

NorthShore is a not-for-profit healthsystem principally formed to provide high-quality healthcare services for the communities it serves. The healthsystem is known for its innovative implementation of leading-edge technologies, including electronic medical records and genomics. In support of its primary mission of patient care, the organization engages in a wide range of academic activities in medical education and research.

About Helix

Helix empowers everyone to explore what makes them unique—their DNA.

From health and wellness insights to family planning and ancestry information, Helix’s growing list of partners can tap into your genetic profile to provide relevant insights for today, tomorrow and years to come.

Have a question about ordering or sequencing?


  • What is the prostate cancer GRS?

    NorthShore’s prostate cancer GRS uses DNA sequencing data in order to identify whether you have individual variations in your DNA that may make you more susceptible to developing prostate cancer.

  • Why is this test only for males?

    Prostates are typically only found in people who were born with male sex organs; therefore research into the genetics of prostate cancer has been performed in males.

  • If I have a relative who has had this test, do I still need to take it?

    This test is intended for each individual who wants to understand more about their prostate cancer risk. Having a relative's test information and/or health history isn't your complete story. We all inherit half our DNA from each of our biological parents, but the exact combination is unique to each of us, so even siblings can have different risk scores.

  • What will my results tell me?

    Your test result will provide you with your prostate cancer genetic risk score and what it means, as well as your remaining lifetime risk of developing prostate cancer.

  • How are my results used by my physician in my ongoing care?

    You may bring your Prostate Cancer Genetic Risk Score results to your physician for review. Based on your GRS, family history, and other risk factors, you and your physician can make a personalized prostate cancer screening plan.

  • Why is this test limited to individuals of specific ethnic backgrounds?

    The accuracy of results is based on which ethnic backgrounds/ancestries have been studied most. In this case, only individuals with White European, East Asian, or African American ethnicities have been studied and are eligible to use this product. While this result may be accurate for people of other ethnicities/ancestral backgrounds, the accuracy has not yet been measured. New versions of the genetic risk score may become available as more individuals from different ethnic backgrounds are studied.

  • Do I have to get sequenced to use this product?

    Yes. In order to use Prostate Cancer GRS, you must be sequenced by Helix. To ensure the quality and accuracy of the genetic information used for this service, products in the Helix marketplace do not accept genetic data from outside sources. And, once you’ve been sequenced by Helix, you can purchase more DNA-powered products from a variety of categories like fitness, nutrition, entertainment, and more—all without having to get sequenced again.

  • How does Helix provide my DNA information to NorthShore University HealthSystem? Is it shared with anyone else?

    Your DNA information is stored securely by Helix. When sequencing is complete, Helix only sends the relevant DNA information needed by NorthShore to generate your results. We do not share your DNA information with anyone without your permission. We always maintain high standards when it comes to the security and privacy of your DNA information.

  • How do I view my results?

    The 3rd party physician network designated by NorthShore University HealthSystem will send you your results via secure email.

  • How do I learn more about how NorthShore University HealthSystem uses my information?

    You can learn more in the NorthShore Privacy Policy, Terms of Service, and Product Consent.

  • Can I choose my own physician to approve testing?

    No. When you order Prostate Cancer GRS, you answer relevant health history questions. Helix will share your contact information and health history with NorthShore so a physician they designate can review and make sure this product is right for you. This process helps make sure you get access to these insights quickly and efficiently through a provider that is familiar with this type of testing. You can always share your results with your healthcare providers.

  • Do I need access to my medical records to answer the health history questions?

    While it might help to have your records handy, it’s definitely not required. It’s okay to answer the health history questions from memory to the best of your ability.

  • Can I use my health insurance benefits to purchase this product?

    Unfortunately, no. This is an at-home test that doesn’t require an office visit, and we cannot currently accept payment from insurance providers.

  • Will someone be available to help me understand my results?

    While your results will be delivered to you in an easy-to-understand format, NorthShore University HealthSystem knows that you may have questions. That’s why NorthShore makes available, through its physician network, experts who can help you understand what your results mean for you and your family. We also encourage you to share your results with your physician if you have any specific questions or concerns.