Doom and DNA: Why we shouldn’t always overreact when it comes to DNA- Positive advances in genetic testing

While society should be careful about its uses of genetic testing and its efforts to modify the genome, some people overreact when dealing with DNA. Consider two recent examples reported in the media.

A genetic cancer test. In a fascinating series on genetics in medicine, Gina Kolata reported in the New York Times on a genetic test for ocular melanoma. The test distinguishes between curable and fatal forms of the melanoma, yet some physicians do not offer the test to their patients (though they disclose the availability of the test).

Of course, some patients may choose not to know which type of melanoma they have. Both curable and lethal types are treated in the same way–surgical removal–and knowing that death is certain may be too unsettling for a number of patients with the fatal form.

View the original article here: Misguided Genetic Exceptionalism – Health Affairs (blog)

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