Pros And Cons Of Genetic Testing For Diseases

Related Articles

With medical technology crossing new thresholds in advancements, medical conditions can now be predicted in advance. One innovative way this is done is through genetic testing. However, genetic testing can have complicated outcomes.

We consulted a panel of medical experts to better understand the pros and cons of genetic testing.

Henry J. Cobb is the VP of Operations Mega Interactive/Telegenisys Inc. According to Henry…

Telegenisys is helping to screen for medical study participants who have the genetic markers for Canavan disease. This is required because gene therapy only has a chance of working if the patient has the genetic mutation to correct. 

In addition, other groups provide genetic testing for potential parents so they will know ahead of time if combining their genes with those of their partner risks handing their children two copies of the gene and hence expressing the disorder. Knowing the answer is a vital part of both treatment and prevention.

Dr. Leann Poston (M.D., M.B.A., M.Ed.) is a licensed physician who holds an MBA and an M.Ed. Her past career includes practicing pediatric medicine, mentoring medical students, and acting as Assistant Dean and Director of Admissions at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. Dr. Poston has an extensive background in writing articles for medical journals. Currently, she also works as a medical advisor for Impakt Fitness. According to Dr. Poston…

Genetic testing is definitely coming of age. There is enormous potential in using genetic testing to develop personalized healthcare

  • Knowing which medications work well for people with various genetic variants reduces the risk of side effects while saving money. Without genetic testing, it is hard to know whether prescription medication is beneficial to an individual taking it.
  • If you use the information from genetic testing to reduce your risk of preventable diseases like strokes and high blood pressure, it can also help you live a healthier life. Some people may be motivated to change their lifestyles if they are aware of their risk factors. 

There are numerous disadvantages to genetic testing. 

  • Learning that you have a genetic variant that increases your risk for a serious disease, such as Alzheimer’s disease, may cause more harm than good until we learn more about how genetic variants translate to disease risk. 
  • Concerns have also been raised about how genetic information can be used to discriminate in workplace hiring and insurance. The Genetic Information Act of 2008, enacted in 2008, should help to prevent this.

Gabriel Nunez is the Lab Technician/ Public Health Researcher for Consumer’s Health Report. According to Gabriel…

Medical technology is improving each and every year, with groundbreaking options in diagnosis, detection, and data! Genetic testing is relatively new; however, it has shown promising results of potential benefits due to its ability to define positive or negative results for gene mutation, which correlate with many diseases and conditions. 

  • These tests provide patients with a sense of well-being because they allow healthcare professionals to move in the right direction for treatment and take action towards managing the patient’s health.
  • Furthermore, if the test is able to indicate accurate negative results, which prevents unnecessary visits, prescriptions, and screenings for treatment. Whereas a positive result can help a patient prevent certain precursors that contribute to the disease and allow them to monitor the disease.
  • These same tests can be used to screen newborn babies for genetic disorders that occur early in life; this allows healthcare providers to provide treatment at the earliest stage!

There are over 70,000 genetic tests being developed; some have been associated with potential risks, such as prenatal diagnostic testing, which has been associated with a small but daunting risk of miscarriage because amniotic fluid or tissue around the fetus is needed to generate results.

It seems there are more emotional cons involved rather than physical ones, which can include financial or community consequences of the result; for example, one can become upset and feel angry, depressed, or guilty about the results they couldn’t change.

  • In many instances, this can be caused by genetic testing, which can alter relationships if they reveal new information regarding their family connection. 
  • From a financial standpoint, genetic testing can evolve to impact those seeking insurance because tests are able to indicate costly medical problems before they begin. Therefore insurance companies could mandate these tests and deny those who are at high risk!

Imani Francies is a healthcare expert with LifeInsurancePost.com. According to Imani…

Pros Of Genetic Testing For Diseases

  • Uncertainty is diminished learning that a certain mutation isn’t present might make people feel better about their own and their children’s health. Trying to figure out who else in the family is in danger is a huge aspect of genetic testing, but you’re also offering comfort.
  • You have the ability to act. Medical care can be guided by a clearer picture of risk. Certain genes have been linked to more serious illnesses. Specific genes are more responsive to certain drugs and therapies. Depending on the situation, this might lead to more diagnostic testing or monitoring, healthy lifestyle changes, or family members being tested.
  • Discrimination is, for the most part, illegal: The findings of your genetic testing will be recorded in your medical file. That’s why recipients are protected by many anti-discrimination laws, including the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, which prevents employers from using that data to recruit, dismiss, or promote employees. 

Health insurance companies are also not allowed to use that data to determine pre-existing conditions. Prominent exclusions are disability, life, and long-term care insurance.

Cons Of Genetic Testing For Diseases

  • Testing may be expensive. Genetic testing might cost anything from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. They’re less expensive than they used to be, but they’re still rather costly. Nonetheless, infants and expecting moms, as well as individuals with a proven personal or family history or a physician’s suggestion, are usually covered by insurance.
  • Overwhelming emotions may be triggered by the results. Finding out that a genetic mutation isn’t present might be quite reassuring. Some of those who discover they are carriers might relax knowing they have greater control. It can also cause intense guilt regardless of the results.