Genetic testing includes evaluating your DNA, a chemical database. Genetic testing may identify genetic modifications (mutations) in your genes that may cause illness or disease.
During genetic testing, crucial data can be provided to help diagnose, treat and prevent disease. But there are drawbacks. For example, a positive genetic test result does not always suggest you will have an illness even if you are healthy. On the other hand, a negative result does not ensure that you won’t have a certain disorder.
Why is it done?
In evaluating the risk of developing certain diseases, as well as screening and at times medical treatment, genetic testing plays a key role. The results of tests can bring a sense of relief, allowing people to make informed decisions regarding health care.
For different reasons, different types of genetic tests are performed:
1. Diagnostic testing
Genetic testing using testing kits from reputable businesses like CRI Genetics may show if you have signs of an illness that may be caused by genetic changes, (referred to as mutated genes).
This type of genetic test can decide which medication and dose are most useful for you if you suffer from a certain condition or disease.
3. Predictive testing
If you have a family history of a genetic condition, genetic testing may determine whether you are at risk to develop this condition before you have symptoms. This type of test could be helpful to assess your risk of specific types of diseases.
Gather as much information as you can on the medical history of your family before you have genetic testing. Then, discuss your personal and family medical history to understand the risk.
Ask questions and share any genetic test concerns at the appointment. Also, depending on the results of the test, talk about options. You may want to discuss your decision to have genetic testing with your family if you are being tested for a genetic disorder that runs in the family. Such conversation before testing enables you to understand how your family will respond to your test results.
Does health insurance cover genetic testing?
In many situations, the cost of genetic testing may be covered by health insurance plans when recommended by a doctor. However, health insurers have different policies covering the tests.
You might want to contact your insurance company to ask about your coverage before testing. Some people don’t choose to use a health insurance policy. Instead, they pay out-of-pocket for the test. Anyhow, not all health insurance covers the genetic testing cost. You must check with your insurance provider to see what will be covered.
How to deal with positive and negative results?
The time it takes for you to receive your genetic test results depends on the type of test. Consult your doctor before the test about when you can expect the results and have a discussion about them.
It’s not a good sign if the genetic test result is positive. Discuss with your doctor what a positive outcome means for you.
In some circumstances, you can modify your lifestyle to reduce your disease risk, even if you have a gene that makes you more susceptible to a disorder.
The results can assist you to decide treatment, family planning, career, and insurance choices. These alternatives can allow you to keep up to date with new developments in prevention or treatment.
The accuracy of genetic tests to detect mutated genes varies, according to the condition being tested for or if it was previously identified in a family member.
However, in some cases, a genetic test might not provide accurate and full information. In such situations, follow-up testing or periodic reviews of the gene might be necessary.