- Genetic testing can examine your DNA and find out if you have any mutations in your genes that may cause illness or disease.
- It can be beneficial in confirming or ruling out a suspected genetic condition but it does have its limitations.
- Working with a genetic counselor is important to determine if genetic testing is right for you, what type of tests you’ll need, and to help you understand your results.
Medical testing has come a long way, including genetic testing. These amazing medical tests can examine your DNA and find out if you have any mutations in your genes that may cause illness or disease.
While genetic testing can be an amazing tool in preventing, diagnosing, and even treating some diseases, it does have limitations. To help you get informed, let’s take a look at everything there is to know about genetic testing including its purpose and benefits as well as the possible risks and limitations. We’ll also walk you through how to prepare for an upcoming genetic test and what you can expect during the process. Let’s dive in!
What Is Genetic Testing?
In short, genetic testing is a type of medical test that looks for changes (also known as mutations or variants) in your DNA. The results of a test can help “confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition or help determine a person’s chance of developing or passing on a genetic disorder,” explains MedlinePlus.
It’s important to note that genetic testing is voluntary and the decision to do it can be complex and personal, says the source. Especially because there are benefits as well as some limitations and risks to the testing.
For example, finding out you have a genetic mutation for a particular disease can be helpful in taking steps to prevent that disease, but it can also affect you mentally knowing you have an increased risk. This is why genetic counseling is recommended. So that you can weigh the pros and cons, find out if genetic testing is right for you, and help you understand your results.