9. Genetic Testing. This is called genetic ancestry testing. Many cancer patients wish they would have done genetic testing so they could have prevented the cancer treatment they have had to endure. It was 2018, and Pomerantz, who lives in Los Angeles, had completed a DNA test from 23andMe that included a Genetic Health Risk report. As these tests gain in popularity however, it is important to understand some of the broader conversations that surround them, including potential ethical complications. Similarly, genetic testing is used in selective animal breeding, which enables farmers to produce the healthiest and most resilient livestock. © Copyright 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan. The gathering of genetic material for testing is typically accomplished through: While most genetic testing is conducted in a hospital or other medical practice, services such as 23andMe allow participants to collect their own cheek swabs and mail them in for testing. Genetic testing, when appropriate, is a powerful tool to gauge a patient’s risk for disease. 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. Also note that by detecting high-risk categories in babies, prenatal providers are able to better plan for the pediatric care the child will need at birth. comparable to humans on a genetic level. If testing reveals a baby with health risks or abnormalities, the mother may feel familial or societal pressure to terminate the pregnancy when this may not be what she truly wants. You are free to copy, distribute, adapt, transmit, or make commercial use of this work as long as you attribute Michigan Medicine as the original creator and include a link to this article. Dorothy Pomerantz vividly remembers the email that changed her life. NOTICE: Except where otherwise noted, all articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. For example, if genetic testing reveals a patient to have an inherited risk of obesity, their medical provider might make pre-emptive recommendations on diet and nutrition, or counsel vigilance concerning certain risk factors. Learning that you have a higher risk than others for a health problem is stressful. While there are benefits to genetic testing, it’s important to keep in mind that there are also limitations. A careful study of genetic testing and its various applications will reveal a complicated web of issues, one in which nuanced thinking is a must. This is an important method where medical treatment is highly personalized to the patient. Through DNA evaluation of different strands of plant life, agriculturalists can determine which seeds will produce the healthiest yields. These tests are optional, though physicians may recommend them in cases where risk factors, such as advanced maternal age, are evident. 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. Still, insurance typically covers such tests for newborns and expectant mothers, as well as patients with a documented personal or family history or a physician’s recommendation. Pregnant women may have their baby’s DNA analyzed for abnormalities, allowing for early detection of conditions such as Down Syndrome. According to Genetics Home Reference, this “is a way for people interested in family history (genealogy) to go beyond what they can learn from relatives or from historical documentation.”. Interested in resolving depression and anxiety naturally?Check out Dr Janelle’s online course Real Relief Foundations. probability of an illness, is through genetic testing. Meanwhile, “Biological siblings and half-siblings often forge bonds that are relatively uncomplicated by the baggage that can dog biological parents and offspring.”. UIC, Master of Science in Health Informatics & Post-Master’s Certificate in Health Informatics, Understanding the Pros and Cons of Genetic Testing, and Gynecologists, “Prenatal Genetic Screening Tests.”, WebMD, “Pregnant? For example, what if genetic testing reveals an individual who is at acute medical risk and requires immediate treatment, yet that individual does not have the insurance or the funds to pay for the best treatment? Many are also worried about the fact that many of these companies provide this information without any sort of medical context for the samples that they are testing when it comes to each individual patient. “But you’re also providing reassurance.”, SEE ALSO: Collecting a Family’s Cancer History: What You Should Ask. Reference this Share this: Facebook Twitter Reddit LinkedIn WhatsApp Genetic Testing Research In a rapidly evolving society, genetic testing is one of … There are even direct-to-consumer tests able to trace your ancestry. The goal is to create widespread access to genetic testing trends and data points, allowing medical professionals to identify clear links between genetic markers and certain medical conditions or medication reactions. Info: 1792 words (7 pages) Essay Published: 23rd Sep 2019 in Health. U.S. National Library of Medicine, What Is Genetic Testing? “Let’s say you find out your kid got something because you passed it down. On the surface, the concept seems like a no-brainer: A sample of blood or saliva can offer clues to your body’s genetic defects, a road map to predicting future problems ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to cancer. Direct-to-consumer genetic testing provides only partial information about your health. Mayo Clinic, Genetic Testing And others who find out that they are carriers can take comfort in having more control. Genetic testing is used with any human to take a sample of their genes to look at common factors between their genetic makeup and illnesses that may occur. For those interested in learning more about genetic testing and pregnancy, some resources include: Genetic testing is also helpful in the treatment of different diseases. Few would question that genetic testing has helped save lives and treat illness, yet these positive outcomes do not come without some related concerns. Through health informatics applications like this, physicians will be able to conduct some general genetic testing on patients, then cross-reference the results with clinical data that helps determine if a patient is in a high-risk group for potential diseases. Genetic testing helps produce crops that are maximally resistant to disease, pests and the effects of the climate. “They’re cheaper than they used to be but are still very expensive,” Aatre says. List of the Advantages of Genetic Testing 1. Now, people have been wondering whether they should consider themselves undergoing genetic testing. The results, after all, might not be what patients want to hear — especially because they could reveal an inherited mutation that puts themselves or their kids at risk. Results of genetic testing can often be uninformative and ultimately can cause more stress and anxiety over the possibility of a disease you may never get. Through early detection, treatment can commence as quickly as possible. 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