Genetic Testing: Why It's Important

When it comes to your health, you should never turn down the opportunity for genetic testing. There are so many benefits here, whether the results are positive or negative for a gene mutation that you have asked your doctor to look for, test results give you a sense of relief from any uncertainty you may have been dealing with. 

And if you are living with family members who have experienced Alzheimer's, dementia or even Huntington's disease, then genetic testing can tell you a lot about yourself and your future. Negative results can eliminate the need for any unnecessary screenings or checkups, which is always a good thing, and a positive result can help you towards going down the road of prevention monitoring and any further treatment options. A cancer gene test can give you insight and help you to prepare for any future possibilities. Any gene testing is going to give you a window into your future. Let’s take a look at how genetic testing can be useful:

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  • During newborn screening. Newborn screening is used just after birth to ensure that any genetic disorders can be treated early. Most newborn screenings come with 35 different conditions for genetic testing, but it all depends on where you live in the US. It's important that if you have a family history of diseases such as cancer or huntingtons, that you do say yes to genetic testing during a newborn screening, especially if you are a carrier of any particular gene, because gene mutations can and will be carried down.

  • During diagnostics. Diagnostic testing, as you may know, is used to identify or rule out any genetic or chromosomal conditions. In most cases, genetic testing can confirm a diagnosis, especially in the case where a particular condition is suspected. It can be performed before birth or at any time during a person's life, but it's not available for all genetic conditions or for all genes. The results can influence a person's life choices, such as whether or not they go ahead and have children, and it can also influence their healthcare management program.

  • To determine whether one is a carrier. If you have a family history of a particular disease, it can be helpful for you to know in advance whether you are also a carrier of the gene that leads to that particular disease. If both parents are tested, you can provide information for yourself about your risk of having children with genetic conditions or whether you yourself will develop that condition later on.

Some people do decide not to go ahead with genetic testing, preferring to live an ignorant life, but it can give you the answers that you need as early as possible so that you are able to prepare and go into your future with an open mind. You should speak to your doctor if you have any questions about the possibilities of genetic testing in the future.


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