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Should I get genetic testing for myself and my family?

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

Genetic testing is a key component of the Precision Medicine initiative which was established by former President Barack Obama in January 2015.Precision Medicine is an approach to healthcare that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle when making treatment decisions.

The latest advances in genetic testing involve analyzing specific genes or regions of DNA to identify genetic variations or mutations that may be associated with certain health conditions. There are two main types of genetic testing: clinical and lifestyle genetic testing. Both types of testing can provide valuable information that can help individuals make more informed decisions about their health and wellbeing.

Clinical genetic testing is used to diagnose or predict the risk of genetic conditions, such as cystic fibrosis or hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. The benefits of clinical genetic testing include:

  • Early diagnosis of certain conditions, allowing for earlier diagnosis and treatment.

  • Personalized treatment can help doctors tailor treatments to your specific needs and reduce the risk of negative side effects.

  • Medication Management through Pharmacogenomics or PGx can help your practitioner make sure that you are on the right drug in the correct dosage, the first time. Thereby removing the “trial and Error” approaching to prescribing.

  • Family planning can help inform family planning decisions, such as whether to have children or pursue alternative options like adoption.

Lifestyle genetic testing, on the other hand, analyzes your DNA to identify genetic variations that may affect your response to certain lifestyle factors, such as diet, exercise, and environmental exposures. The benefits of lifestyle genetic testing include:

  • Personalized lifestyle recommendations for diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors that may improve your health and wellbeing.

  • Disease prevention such as heart disease or osteoporosis, allowing you to take preventative measures to reduce your risk.

  • Improved health outcomes can potentially improve your health outcomes and reduce the risk of negative health outcomes.

In summary, both clinical genetic testing and lifestyle genetic testing can provide valuable information that can help individuals make more informed decisions about their health and wellbeing. If you have a family history of genetic conditions or are interested in optimizing your lifestyle choices, genetic testing may be a valuable option to consider.

Sources of Information:

Benefits of Clinical Genetic Testing:

  • "The Benefits of Genetic Testing." National Human Genome Research Institute.

  • "Genetic Testing: What Are the Benefits and Risks?" Mayo Clinic.

  • "The Benefits of Genetic Testing." American Cancer Society.

Benefits of Lifestyle Genetic Testing:

  • "What is Lifestyle Genetic Testing?" Genomind.

  • "How Genetic Testing Can Help You Optimize Your Health and Wellness." Cleveland Clinic.

  • "What is Lifestyle Genetic Testing and How Can it Help You?" SelfDecode.

Overall Benefits of Genetic Testing:

  • "What Are the Benefits of Genetic Testing?" Genetic Alliance.

  • "Genetic Testing: What You Need to Know." Harvard Health Publishing.

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