Truth about genetic tests: ‘They don’t seal your fate’

|

Once difficult and expensive even for the most technologically advanced labs, genetic testing is fast becoming a cheap and easy consumer product. With a little spit and 200 dollars, you can find out your risk for everything from cystic fibrosis to lactose intolerance.

But it’s important to remember that not all genetic tests are created equal. And even the best clinical genetic test, carried out in a medical lab under a doctor’s supervision, isn’t perfect—genes are important, but they don’t seal your fate.

[Heidi Rehm, director of the Laboratory for Molecular Medicine at Harvard Medical School] says it is most common for people to get tested when they either suspect or know that they have a genetic disease… For these people, genetic tests can provide a much-needed explanation for an illness and help doctors determine the best course of treatment.

Some genes are thought to increase risk of getting a certain disease, but it might only happen if you have specific family history, or you might be able to reduce your risk with lifestyle changes. So remember that a genetic test isn’t the final verdict—there are other factors at play too.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: What can genetic testing really tell you?