What You Need to Know About DNA Testing

Before you order an at-home genetic testing kit, carefully consider the medical, psychological and legal implications.

THROUGH DIRECT-TO-CONSUMER genetic testing, it is now possible to get information about your genetic predisposition to certain illnesses without consulting a doctor. One test, made by 23andMe, was authorized in March 2018 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to tell users whether they have any of three mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that are linked to increased risk of certain cancers.

An at-home genetic test may not be as complete as one you would get in a medical office, so results from these at-home tests may not be conclusive. Experts have spoken about the medical and psychological implications of direct-to-consumer testing, raising concerns about false positives as well as false reassurances. If your family members have had certain types of cancers, consider speaking with a medical professional or genetic counselor about whether genetic testing is a good idea for you, and speak to a medical professional before taking any action based on the results.

Among the implications of genetic testing are potential legal issues.

Read on  Cancer Today about all the legal questions to consider before submitting your DNA to a genetic testing company.  

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