Here are the advantages of seeking genetic testing: If you have a family member with a confirmed abnormal BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene and your test result is negative, your genetic counselor may be able to tell you with greater certainty that you have the same relatively low risk of developing breast or ovarian cancer as people in the general population. Also note that by detecting high-risk categories in babies, prenatal providers are able to better plan for the pediatric care the child will need at birth. Genetic testing involves analysis of this DNA, which can reveal any mutations (changes to that chemical database) that may suggest a higher risk of illness, deformity or disease. It Depends on Their Risk. Cons of Genetic Testing. For those who do not suffer from cancer now, genetic testing can help keep them from happening later. ScienceDaily, “Does Genetic Testing Pose Psychosocial Risks?” For additional insight into this field, consider these resources: Genetic testing’s rise in popularity is easy to understand: It’s a field that offers numerous benefits to doctors and patients, to farmers, and to individuals who desire more information about their family origins. Others are also concerned that although this data could be helpful, some patients will not heed it at all, and continue o… They’ll also meet with a certified genetic counselor to explain the process and the many considerations that come with getting the detailed analysis. On the negative side, it carries a risk of harming the fetus and can increase the likelihood of miscarriage. More information about the ethics of genetic testing can be found here: Generally, genetic tests have very little physical risk. A few examples of the cons of genetic testing: 1. “Most people, once they’ve understood that, want to do it,” says Aatre, Genetic testing results will appear on your medical record. This type of testing is incredibly useful. Genetic testing is a type of medical test that identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins. © Copyright 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan. Pros and Cons of Genetic Testing: The human body is composed of millions of cells, which are considered as the basic units of life. The results, after all, might not be what patients want to hear — especially because they could reveal an inherited mutation that puts themselves or their kids at risk. The pros and cons of genetic testing for breast cancer are good to consider. Genetic testing is used to identify genetic disorders, and involves a detailed study of the DNA molecule. Genetic Testing. Genetic testing helps produce crops that are maximally resistant to disease, pests and the effects of the climate. UIC, Master of Science in Health Informatics & Post-Master’s Certificate in Health Informatics, Understanding the Pros and Cons of Genetic Testing, and Gynecologists, “Prenatal Genetic Screening Tests.”, WebMD, “Pregnant? Blood tests and cheek swabs have virtually no risk whatsoever. There are also concerns over the psychological and emotional risks of genetic testing. For example, if genetic testing reveals a patient to have an inherited risk of obesity, their medical provider might make pre-emptive recommendations on diet and nutrition, or counsel vigilance concerning certain risk factors. U.S. National Library of Medicine, What Are the Risks and Limitations of Genetic Testing? Ethical concerns, health concerns and legal concerns have surfaced with regard to genetic tests. Your Genetic Testing Options.”, Science News Daily, “Multi-gene Test Predicts Early Heart Disease Risk.”, American Cancer Society, “Should You Get Genetic Testing for Cancer Risk?”, more than 26 million people had taken home ancestry tests, How Stuff Works, “How to Use DNA Testing for, National Human Genome Research Institute, “Agriculture.”, United States Department of Agriculture, “Biotechnology FAQs.”, Referral MD, “8 Ways Health Informatics is Transforming Health Care.”, Genetics Home Reference, “What are the Benefits of Genetic Testing?”, National Human Genome Research Institute, “Genetics, Disease Prevention and Treatment FAQ.”, instances of people connecting with biological half-siblings, , “Why You Should Dig Up Your Family’s History—And How to Do It.”, Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, “Best Practices for Connecting with Family via DNA Research.”, Your Genome, “What is Selective Breeding?”, some communities require couples to undergo certain kinds of genetic testing, , “Consumer DNA Testing Is Crossing into Unethical Territories.”, Technology Networks, “Exploring the Ethics of Genetic Testing.”, there is not yet research to confirm these risks, Genetics Home Reference, “What are the Risks and Limitations of Genetic Testing?”, Frontiers in Public Health, “Genetic Testing between Private and Public Interests: Some Legal and Ethical Reflections.”, , “The US Urgently Needs Genetic Privacy Laws.”, ScienceDaily, “Does Genetic Testing Pose Psychosocial Risks?”. All human beings have unique sequences of DNA, a chemical database that provides instructions for how the body functions. Ethical concerns fall along several lines. This risk is higher for testing that is done earlier in the pregnancy; after 15 weeks, the risk is less than 1%. Email . But the decision to get a test, she notes, shouldn’t be made lightly. Genetic tests offered by companies like 23andMe only analyze a small segment of your DNA. And as awareness of genetic mutations grows, testing mechanisms have become quicker, cheaper and more precise. ... A geneticist or genetic counselor can help by providing information about the pros and cons of the test and discussing the social and emotional aspects of testing. Genetic testing offers insights into a person’s overall health. This paper set out to discuss the pros and cons of genetic screening so as to provide a stand as to whether this practice should be encouraged. List of Pros of Genetic Testing. As these tests gain in popularity however, it is important to understand some of the broader conversations that surround them, including potential ethical complications. Genetic testing is used with any human to take a sample of their genes to look at common factors between their genetic makeup and illnesses that may occur. It’s why most people first need a recommendation from their primary care physician. This is called genetic ancestry testing. Genetic testing, when appropriate, is a powerful tool to gauge a patient’s risk for disease. By Sarah Yahr Tucker November 2020. Genetic Testing Pros and Cons While predictive genetic testing is certainly a medical breakthrough, there are those who get excited at the opportunity to look into their genetic makeup and those who aren’t. There are negative aspects to using DNA testing kits. From the arguments presented in this paper, it is evident that genetic screening is hugely beneficial as it can lead to better decision making as well as preventive measures where genetic anomalies are discovered. This type of discrimination can be socially debilitating and have severe socio-economic consequences.” Because of this, genetic testing should always be done with confidentiality as a top priority. On the plus side, it allows for planning for possible developmental issues, determine the viability of the fetus, and establish paternity. on: December 12, 2020. Learn about genetic testing for phenylketonuria (PKU), and the pros and cons of being genetically tested or having your baby tested before birth. Pros: * The ability to obtain personal genetic information quickly and privately without a “prescription”. Genetic testing is an important tool for detecting any genetic abnormalities or disorders in an unborn child. Conversely, genetic testing may compel a mother to terminate the pregnancy, causing tension within a family or a community. “A big part of genetic testing is trying to determine who else in the family is at risk,” Aatre says. While there are some clear advantages to genetic testing, there are also reasons for caution. No matter how much you intellectualize it, you can’t ever discount that the feeling of responsibility or guilt won’t affect you.”. The information can include disease predisposition and carrier status. Testing can be costly: The price of genetic testing ranges from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Meanwhile, “Biological siblings and half-siblings often forge bonds that are relatively uncomplicated by the baggage that can dog biological parents and offspring.”. “For biological parents, particularly those who gave children up for adoption, reunification often relieves guilt, uncertainty and what can be deep scars over the decision,” the APA writes. This is an important method where medical treatment is highly personalized to the patient. MORE FROM MICHIGAN: Sign up for our weekly newsletter. Michigan Medicine genetic counselor Rajani Aatre M.S., M.Sc., right, and her colleagues. Genetic Testing Research: Pros and Cons. Not everyone is eligible: To get tested, a loved one must already have been affected by a disease or disorder — and been genetically tested, too. Some additional resources regarding genetic testing and disease treatment include: Genetic testing can also be used to trace family history or learn more about ethnic background. The World Health Organization writes: “Employers and insurance companies have been known to deny individuals essential healthcare or employment based on knowledge of genetic disposition. To learn more about genetic testing and its use in identifying heritage, consider these sources: Genetic testing also plays an important role in food and agriculture. From the standpoint of personal health, genetic testing can facilitate early detection of diseases and other medical risks, allowing for prompt and proactive treatment. The United States and Gabon are the main two nations that permit experimentation with chimpanzees (ProCon.org). A careful study of genetic testing and its various applications will reveal a complicated web of issues, one in which nuanced thinking is a must. The gathering of genetic material for testing is typically accomplished through: While most genetic testing is conducted in a hospital or other medical practice, services such as 23andMe allow participants to collect their own cheek swabs and mail them in for testing. These screenings can accomplish a variety of things, including helping patients discern their risk for certain diseases and assisting expectant mothers in monitoring the health of their babies. Direct-to-consumer genetic testing provides only partial information about your health. probability of an illness, is through genetic testing. Some advantages, or pros, of genetic testing, include: A sense of relief from uncertainty That’s why, determine who else in the family is at risk, Should You Get At-Home Genetic Testing? “Some genes respond to certain medications and treatments better.” That, depending on circumstance, might lead to additional diagnostic testing or monitoring, healthful lifestyle shifts or getting family members tested. In this section, we want to help you understand both the advantages and disadvantages of genetic testing for cancer. With that said, anecdotal evidence shows that many pregnant women say genetic testing increases their anxiety about giving birth, particularly when the findings are not entirely positive. Was this page helpful? Genetic testing or prenatal testing has its pros and cons but the pros of prenatal testing outweigh the cons. The pros and cons of genetic testing warrant a closer look. Genetic Testing Pros and Cons. U.S. National Library of Medicine, What Is Genetic Testing? ... A pair of expert clinician-scientists discussed the benefits and the potential drawbacks of universal genetic testing during a Virtual SABCS debate on Friday, Dec. 11. For additional insight regarding genetic testing and family history, consider: Genetic testing can also help agriculturalists practice selective breeding, pairing different types of seeds or mating varied types of animals with certain genetic characteristics in mind. A positive result from cancer genetic testing doesn’t necessarily mean that you will develop cancer but can weigh heavily on your mind or the minds of your loved ones. The American Psychological Association (APA) describes instances of people connecting with biological half-siblings, particularly in cases involving sperm donation, or learning the identity of their biological fathers. Knowing that a particular mutation is absent can help people ease anxiety about their own health and that of their children. As of 2019, more than 26 million people had taken home ancestry tests, according to a report from MIT Technology Review. Genetic testing can predict the risk of disease or illness, which can be an asset to patients and their caregivers; yet, it can also be misused. Genetic findings can also lead to increased anxiety even after children are born, as possible unseen health complications loom. For more information or to make an appointment for genetic counseling or testing at the Frankel Cardiovascular Center, call 888-287-1082. Undergoing prenatal genetic testing has several pros and cons. “They’re cheaper than they used to be but are still very expensive,” Aatre says. It offers many benefits, including providing important information that can be used when making decisions about having a family and taking care of one’s own health. Results may trigger emotions: Finding out that a gene mutation is absent can offer a deep sense of relief. Newborn screening is the most common form of genetic testing in the United States. It isn’t a full-body review: Testing is targeted: “When someone walks in my door, I’m not going to screen them for everything on the planet,” Aatre says. Newborns with genetic disorders can receive early treatment to correct the genes. Notable exceptions: Disability, life and long-term care insurance could be affected. Learning that you have a higher risk than others for a health problem is stressful. DTC Genetics: Pros and Cons. View all blog posts under HI. A Michigan Medicine genetic counselor explains the process. The result is more efficient planting for farmers, along with better quality food for consumers. The results of genetic testing may impact your ability to obtain life, disability, or long-term care insurance. “The science is easy to process; the emotional component is not,” says Rajani Aatre, M.S., M.Sc., a genetic counselor at the University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center. This, in turn, will allow physicians to take preventive measures and help their patients minimize risks. This BiologyWise article focuses on the many pros and cons of this advanced technique. Genetic privacy may be compromised if testing companies use your genetic information in an unauthorized way or if your data is stolen. For those interested in learning more about genetic testing and pregnancy, some resources include: Genetic testing is also helpful in the treatment of different diseases. Debate examines pros and cons of genetic testing for all BCa patients. 23andMe Everyone’s body has seven to 10 nonworking/altered genes, she notes, so family and clinical history must dictate when and where to focus attention (and avoid unnecessary anxiety). You inherit 50% of this DNA from your mother, and 50% from your father. Sometimes, genetic testing reveals a medical complication “accidentally.” A Science News article highlights a woman who used a genetic testing service to learn more about her family history. The testing revealed an amino acid in her DNA that put her at high risk for breast cancer. From simple applications like commercial genetic origin testing to determining risk factors and the probability of diseases for unborn babies, the breadth of uses is very wide, and here are some pros and cons of genetic testing, on the whole. That, she notes, involves reading a DNA sequence from start to finish to see if there are any “interruptions/disruptions” — mutations associated with the disease in question — that stop the gene from making normal proteins. Legal issues that surround genetic testing tend to focus on the potential for discrimination. At Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, we feel that in order to make the best decision you must first weigh the pros and cons. Interested in resolving depression and anxiety naturally?Check out Dr Janelle’s online course Real Relief Foundations. “The kind of tests we have today weren’t even possible 20 years ago.”. Determine parenthood:Genetic testing determines the parenthood of a child in cases of child custody and support. Info: 1792 words (7 pages) Essay Published: 23rd Sep 2019 in Health. The Pros and Cons of Consumer Genetic Testing. Read about Michigan Medicine’s latest research and medical breakthroughs on our science-driven sister blog. “Certain genes are associated with more severe diseases,” Aatre says. Many are also worried about the fact that many of these companies provide this information without any sort of medical context for the samples that they are testing when it comes to each individual patient. Discrimination is (mostly) protected: Genetic testing results will appear on your medical record. Through health informatics applications like this, physicians will be able to conduct some general genetic testing on patients, then cross-reference the results with clinical data that helps determine if a patient is in a high-risk group for potential diseases. According to Genetics Home Reference, this “is a way for people interested in family history (genealogy) to go beyond what they can learn from relatives or from historical documentation.”. While there are benefits to genetic testing, it’s important to keep in mind that there are also limitations. Now, people have been wondering whether they should consider themselves undergoing genetic testing. But how can you be sure that nothing else will stand between you and your dream to have a desired baby? Mayo Clinic, Genetic Testing Your doctor may order a genetic test for any number of reasons related to diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. Amniocentesis (for pregnant women; involves the use of a thin needle inserted into the uterus to collect fluid), Selectively breeding corn that yields larger kernels and larger ears, Breeding turkeys that grow faster and become larger, Introducing new varieties of crops that can thrive in harsh climates, Breeding cattle that are resistant to specific diseases and do not require antibiotics or other chemicals. comparable to humans on a genetic level. Sometimes, life-saving interventions can be initiated while the baby is still in the womb. “Without clear markers, you’re opening Pandora’s box.” A patient whose parent was tested for a genetic heart condition, for example, wouldn’t be a candidate for BRCA 1 or 2 testing to determine breast cancer risk. For example, the field known as pharmacogenetics helps doctors evaluate a patient’s DNA to assess which medication or clinical intervention will have the greatest effect and the lowest risk. That’s why several anti-discrimination laws protect recipients, notably the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, which prohibits employers using that data to hire, fire or promote and health insurance companies from using it as a pre-existing condition. Some of the specific diseases that can be identified via genetic testing include: Genetic testing can be life-saving for patients, and it also empowers medical providers to better focus their treatment efforts. Many cancer patients wish they would have done genetic testing so they could have prevented the cancer treatment they have had to endure. Genetic testing doesn’t necessarily identify a specific disease but may identify risk factors that call for additional, targeted testing. Uncertainty is lessened: Worried about a future ailment? Such testing  provides a precise indication of a person’s ethnic composition; e.g., it can tell you that you’re 50% Irish, 20% German, etc. type of health program that involves the identification of any changes in genes Some People with Obsess about Potential Health Risks. You can take action: A clearer portrait of risk can guide medical care. Dorothy Pomerantz vividly remembers the email that changed her life. And others who find out that they are carriers can take comfort in having more control. SEE ALSO: Should Young People Get a Colon Cancer Screening? That, she notes, involves reading a DNA sequence from start to finish to see if there are any “interruptions/disruptions” — mutations associated with the disease in question — that stop the gene from making normal proteins. It is an effective tool to diagnose everything, from risks of cancer to genetic abnormalities in the newborn. Well, to come up with a well-informed decision, it is important to understand what this procedure is all about and review the pros and cons that come with it. Still, says Aatre: “This crystal ball, all of a sudden, can pop in front of you.” That may spark deep feelings of guilt (regardless of findings) or difficult decisions. Well, as there are many reasons why men and women have infertility, IVF has specific requirements and flows differently in any particular case. Some examples of how selective breeding helps farmers (and end consumers) include: While there are some clear advantages to genetic testing, there are also reasons for caution. Pros and cons . Through advances in research, science and medical technology, physicians now offer robust genetic screenings to their patients. A DNA testing is ordered to solve any disputes. One is that it may impede on individual personal freedom. Still, she says, there is power in knowledge: It allows recipients to be proactive about their own health — and to help determine if other family members are at risk. And Gabon are the main two nations that permit experimentation with chimpanzees ProCon.org! And establish paternity may recommend them in cases of child custody and support doesn ’ t made!: 23rd Sep 2019 in health is stolen s risk for breast cancer are good to.! Consider themselves undergoing genetic testing is beneficial for everyone your mother, and %... Little physical risk of genetic testing, including prenatal testing testing is used in selective animal breeding which... It 's important to realize that genetic testing be initiated while the baby, though may. 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