“The science is easy to process; the emotional component is not,” says Rajani Aatre, M.S., M.Sc., a genetic counselor at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center. My oncologist thinks outside the box, prescribing drugs that were not standard of care and were difficult to tolerate. Genetic Testing Benefits for a Better Future For All On a different but related note, genetic testing is being developed to help improve the health of pets, grow more resilient crops, produce new food sources, develop improved medications and so much more. Testing can be costly: The price of genetic testing ranges from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Before getting into the pros and cons of genetic testing, it may be helpful to explain exactly what genetic testing is and how it is applied. Newborn screening is the most common form of genetic testing in the United States. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and can not investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the author to disclose. The American Psychological Association (APA) describes instances of people connecting with biological half-siblings, particularly in cases involving sperm donation, or learning the identity of their biological fathers. UIC, Master of Science in Health Informatics & Post-Master’s Certificate in Health Informatics. Results may trigger emotions: Finding out that a gene mutation is absent can offer a deep sense of relief. Expert genetic counselors will guide you through a straightforward process to help you make more informed decisions about your cancer prevention strategy. I had no idea the role my genetic make-up played in my success as a survivor 14 years later. That, she notes, involves reading a DNA sequence from start to finish to see if there are any “interruptions/disruptions” — mutations associated with the disease in question — that stop the gene from making normal proteins. Anger and depression can be experienced by patients who obtain positive results. “You need to know what to go after,” Aatre says. can potentially yield valuable information at any time, there are some specific situations where greater benefits become available. October 5, 2020, 2:00 pm, by Their testing is simple, secure, affordable, reliable, and they don’t sell your information. There are many serious disorders and diseases that have genetics as one of the main causes, including the Parkinson’s disease or cancer. The Journal of the American Dental Association, 147(3), 157-159. Geneticists have to be ready to cooperate with counselors and protect their patients. As we mentioned earlier here, genetic testing is associated with both stress and peace of mind. This type of testing is incredibly useful. “For biological parents, particularly those who gave children up for adoption, reunification often relieves guilt, uncertainty and what can be deep scars over the decision,” the APA writes. When you know more information about your own genes, you can anticipate health issues that you may not otherwise get any advance warning about. It isn’t a full-body review: Testing is targeted: “When someone walks in my door, I’m not going to screen them for everything on the planet,” Aatre says. It’s why most people first need a recommendation from their primary care physician. Genetic testing aims at identifying the changes in chromosomes and genes and prove/disprove a suspected condition. But for many people today, the temporary anxiety of undergoing genetic testing is outweighed by the long-term removal of uncertainty and worry. Genetic testing helps produce crops that are maximally resistant to disease, pests and the effects of the climate. For example, the field known as pharmacogenetics helps doctors evaluate a patient’s DNA to assess which medication or clinical intervention will have the greatest effect and the lowest risk. Few would question that genetic testing has helped save lives and treat illness, yet these positive outcomes do not come without some related concerns. © Copyright 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan. Geneticists have to be ready to cooperate with counselors and protect their patients. In pre-genetic testing days, this could often mean having to go through a process of trial-and-error with different treatments until finding one that seemed to work better. Hafiz Muhammad Ali In addition, genetic testing provides only limited information. This can result in higher yields and greater product quality. While this may feel somewhat stressful in the short-term, it can lead to greater peace of mind in the long-term since you are no longer waiting and worrying. DN News Desk Read about Michigan Medicine’s latest research and medical breakthroughs on our science-driven sister blog. Sometimes, even a routine genetic ancestry test can reveal underlying health risks that doctors might not otherwise detect, as we saw in the example of the woman who found she was in the early stages of breast cancer. 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Some additional resources on this topic include: Genetic testing also helps individuals trace their family lines, not just to learn more about their own ancestry and heritage, but to identify and forge new relationships with relatives. Genetic testing prior to pregnancy can also help couples decide if, when or whether to have biological children. Through early detection, treatment can commence as quickly as possible. explains that genetic testing isn’t just used to diagnose or rule out a disease. Learn more. Genetic testing helps produce crops that are maximally resistant to disease, pests and the effects of the climate. Even if the results of genetic testing are negative, certain advantages are observed because people get an opportunity to prevent or monitor personal health. By the time symptoms appear, it is usually advanced. Today, I see the conversation playing out differently than in 2006 at the time of my diagnosis. 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Similarly, genetic testing is used in selective animal breeding, which enables farmers to produce the healthiest and most resilient livestock. For additional insight into this field, consider these resources: Genetic testing’s rise in popularity is easy to understand: It’s a field that offers numerous benefits to doctors and patients, to farmers, and to individuals who desire more information about their family origins. Genetic testing has potential benefits whether the results are positive or negative for a gene mutation. Your Genetic Testing Options.”, Science News Daily, “Multi-gene Test Predicts Early Heart Disease Risk.”, American Cancer Society, “Should You Get Genetic Testing for Cancer Risk?”, more than 26 million people had taken home ancestry tests, How Stuff Works, “How to Use DNA Testing for, National Human Genome Research Institute, “Agriculture.”, United States Department of Agriculture, “Biotechnology FAQs.”, Referral MD, “8 Ways Health Informatics is Transforming Health Care.”, Genetics Home Reference, “What are the Benefits of Genetic Testing?”, National Human Genome Research Institute, “Genetics, Disease Prevention and Treatment FAQ.”, instances of people connecting with biological half-siblings, , “Why You Should Dig Up Your Family’s History—And How to Do It.”, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, “Best Practices for Connecting with Family via DNA Research.”, Your Genome, “What is Selective Breeding?”, some communities require couples to undergo certain kinds of genetic testing, , “Consumer DNA Testing Is Crossing into Unethical Territories.”, Technology Networks, “Exploring the Ethics of Genetic Testing.”, there is not yet research to confirm these risks, Genetics Home Reference, “What are the Risks and Limitations of Genetic Testing?”, Frontiers in Public Health, “Genetic Testing between Private and Public Interests: Some Legal and Ethical Reflections.”, , “The US Urgently Needs Genetic Privacy Laws.”, ScienceDaily, “Does Genetic Testing Pose Psychosocial Risks?”.