A genetic test looks for mutations or variants in the DNA of a person which can be useful in other areas of medicine and decide the future course of medical care you and your family may receive.
That said, irrespective of whether the results are positive or negative for a gene mutation, the potential benefits of genetic testing can help people make an informed decision on managing their health care.
While a negative result can eliminate the requirement for further checkups, a positive result can enable the person to prevention and treatment options. It is important to invest in only the best DNA test kit to be assured of accurate results.
Despite its benefits, a genetic test is completely voluntary. Since the test has its own limitations and risks, the decision to take the test is a personal and complex choice. A genetic counselor will serve the purpose better by outlining the emotional and social aspects of testing.
Before we discuss the benefits of genetic testing, the accuracy with which the test is performed is of critical importance. This is because some of the major life decisions are based on the results of these tests. Moreover, the results of genetic tests are not always straightforward, the reason they are challenging and difficult to interpret.
Benefits of Genetic Testing
A genetic test, therefore, must only be done by an accredited high-quality testing lab that also takes care of pre and post-genetic counseling to explain the possible outcomes for ideal patient care.
The biggest benefit of a genetic test is that it can provide important life-saving information, providing the medical doctor who has conducted the tests has specialized training in the field. For example, a genetic test may be used to confirm a diagnosis of cystic fibrosis or Huntington’s disease.
Genetic testing can also provide clarity on the results, guide the selection of the right therapy and allow disease risk profiling. Your family health history will tell you which diseases have been running through the family.
The test will help identify the risks due to shared genes and understand better what environmental and lifestyle traits you share with your family. Understanding these choices can reduce the risk of developing a disease.
Some other Advantages of Genetic Testing Include:
- Provides a sense of relief from uncertainty
- Greater insight on your chances of developing certain types of colorectal cancer
- Learn whether you have a genetic condition that runs in the family before you have the symptoms
- Chances whether a current or future pregnancy will have a genetic condition or an abnormality in the baby’s genes like down syndrome or trisomy 18 syndromes.
- To diagnose a genetic condition if you or your child has symptoms
- If a genetic disorder is prevailing in your family history, like cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia, you may choose to get a genetic test done before deciding on having children. A screening test can help detect genes associated with a number of diseases and mutations and can determine if you and your partner are carriers of the same conditions.
- If you are suffering from a particular disease or health condition a pharmacogenetic test can determine the exact dosage and medication that will be beneficial for your condition.
- Newborn screening is the most common type of screening prevailing in the US today where all newborns are checked for certain genetic abnormalities. This type of testing is important because if there is a disorder detected, the treatment can start right away.
- Opportunity to educate other family members about the potential risks.
While genetic testing is increasing in popularity, it should only be encouraged when other forms of effective therapy have failed to prevent the condition.