Friday, October 29, 2010
What are genetic tests used for?
Doctors rely on genetic testing in many conditions, most of them involving pregnant women or infants. However, they may also be used in adults to see if they carry a risk factor for a disease before the symptoms even begin to show up. Doctors use genetic tests for several reasons. These include:
•Finding possible genetic diseases in unborn babies
•Finding out if people carry a gene for a disease and might pass it on to their children
•Screening embryos for disease
•Testing for genetic diseases in adults before they cause symptoms
•Confirming a diagnosis in a person who has disease symptoms
People have many different reasons for being tested or not being tested. For many, it is important to know whether a disease can be prevented or treated if a gene alteration is found. In some cases, there is no treatment. But test results might help a person make life decisions, such as career choice, family planning or insurance coverage.
How do you feel about genetic testing?