Private Genetic Testing – What Does It Mean for You?
For many people, the idea of private genetic testing still seems a little foreign. You may not yet fully understand the many benefits genetic testing can bring to the table. Some cases have made highlights and headlines with celebrities going through genetic testing to determine their risks for certain types of cancer. But that is only the beginning of what you can learn about your own health through private genetics testing and counseling.
The Importance of Genetics Counseling with Genetics Testing
Genetics, for all its recent advancements, is still a complex science. It acts as a sort of predictor offering likely outcomes – not necessarily definite outcomes. It determines your genetic predisposition for certain illnesses, conditions, and even physical characteristics. Genetics counseling helps you to understand the odds, the risks, and the things you can do to rewrite your genetic story.
For instance, your counselor may note that you have a genetic predisposition for heart disease based on what’s written in your DNA. That doesn’t mean you will have heart disease. Your counselor can connect you with resources that will help you make lifestyle changes and take medical precautions to mitigate those risks and reduce the likelihood of heart disease for you. Things like dietary changes, daily exercise, and certain medications can make a world of difference and prolong your good health and quality of life.
Breast cancer genetic testing is one of the ones making headlines today as some women are taking strong, preventative action based on the results of these tests. Not every woman needs to have this test, specifically for the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 mutation. Those who do include women have a family history of this particular mutation, have had breast cancer at age 50 or younger (or are related to someone who has), are related to someone who has had cancer in both breasts, is related to someone who has had ovarian cancer, is of Ashkenazi Jewish decent, or is related to a man who has had breast cancer.
What is Pharmacogenomic Testing?
For people who have had negative reactions to medications in the past, or have experienced limited results from medications, pharmacogenomics might provide a great deal of insight as to how efficiently certain drugs will work. This is especially wise for people who may need to take expensive medications or who are taking medications that have the potential for strong negative side effects. This type of testing can provide predictive responses for more than 200 different medications and make recommendations to optimize medications and treatments in addition to avoiding adverse responses.
When it comes to genetic testing, cost is a factor, but a small one in light of the important benefits these types of tests have to offer. Whether you are interested in pre-pregnancy genetic screening, non-invasive prenatal testing, or other types of private genetic testing, Medcan offers superior testing and outstanding genetic counseling to help you sort through the facts about your test results and the impact they may have on your future.
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