Genetic testing has come a long way since the 1950s when scientists first began developing tests for cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, and other conditions. It is within the last three decades, though, that we have witnessed a complete evolution of genetic testing making it infinitely useful in medicine, crime solving, and so much more. Our genes hold many secrets and decoding those secrets can help us learn a great deal about ourselves, our health, and the potential we have for specific health problems down the road. Which is why genetic testing can be so valuable in the world of medicine today. So how do you know if genetic testing is the right move for you?
Who is Genetic Testing Right For?
Genetic testing isn’t for everyone. But there are many people who would benefit greatly from different types of genetic testing. For instance, someone who has a serious condition like heart disease or cancer, may undergo pharmacogenomics testing to help determine how effective some medications will be at treating their conditions.
Even better, this type of testing can predict which of the side effects you are likely to experience from certain medications that may have potentially dangerous side effects. This will prevent people from experiencing some of the more serious side effects from medications while avoiding wasting time on treatments your body may be naturally resistant too.
When you’re fighting for your life with advanced stages of these diseases, you will find that you don’t have time to waste on ineffective medications and treatments.
Prenatal Genetic Screening
Another type of genetic service that is growing in popularity is one known as non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT). While this type of testing does not identify the presence of specific genetic conditions it can rule out the need for riskier genetic tests, like the amniocentesis that are often used to screen for genetic conditions, such as Down Syndrome, Trisomy 13, and Trisomy 18 during pregnancy.
You can even use NIPT in pregnancies with twins, which cannot be said of the amniocentesis. The best part of this particular test, though, is that – unlike the amniocentesis, which can harm or kill your baby, the NIPT poses no risk at all to the baby you are carrying. All that is required is the simple drawing of blood from the mother.
Personal Genome Testing and Hereditary Cancer Panel Testing
If you are concerned over the state of your health and find it weighing heavily on your mind, then you might consider one of these genetic screening options. Prominent U.S. actress, Angelina Jolie made headlines a few years ago when she went through genetic testing that determined she was at heightened risk for both breast and ovarian cancers so that she could take preventative measures to avoid these conditions, which she did. With her family history with cancer she decided it was a prudent move to make.
The thing about genetic testing is that it is predictive based on your genes, but not a foregone conclusion. Once you know you have a genetic predisposition for certain conditions you can make medical and lifestyle changes designed to prevent these conditions from becoming realities for you.