More than half of people concerned about a family history of cancer who took part in a pilot project were found to have an increased risk of the disease.
Macmillan Cancer Support and the Department of Health jointly funded the £1.75m programme to explore ways of identifying people with a history of cancer and providing them with appropriate advice and care.
The study, published in the journal Familial Cancer, found that people worried about inherited cancers have been able to access an initial risk assessment quickly and easily.
It also found improvements to services mean there have been fewer unnecessary screenings, and more people from deprived areas and ethnic minorities are now being seen.
Glyn Purland, Macmillan lead for the Cancer Genetics Partnership Programme, said: "Results from the programme so far show there is a real need for developing further genetic screening services that offer risk assessment and support services for people with a family history of cancer.
"A small proportion of breast, bowel and ovarian cancers are genetic and run in families.
"Recognising people at risk with a family history of cancer means they can be offered support, regular screening or genetic testing to prevent cancer or detect it early on."