Should People Spend Money On Genetic Testing?

A couple months ago, Angelina Jolie told the world that she decided to undergo a double mastectomy after she took a gene test and tested positive for BRCA1 gene mutation. This mutation would increase her chances of developing breast cancer by 90 percent. Jolie’s story has caused genetic testing to become a very hot topic.

There has been a-lot of research done in the field of genetics within the past couple of decades. Ten years ago, you could take a test and find genetic links for approximately 900 diseases. Today, you can find genetic links for nearly 2,000 diseases. In the past, genetic testing was very expensive. Now, you can do it at home for just $100.

Are The Tests Really Worth Getting?

Angelina Jolie’s story is an example of how genetic testing can potentially help prevent diseases. However, many people are debating whether these tests are really worth it. Before you decide to get a genetic test done yourself, it is important for you to understand the pros and cons. Below are some of the pros and cons for various types of genetic test:

Breast Cancer Testing

Pros: Many women carry the BRAC1 gene. If you test positive for this gene, then you and your doctor will be able to work together and develop a prevention plan. This plan may include frequent and earlier screenings.

Cost: If you test negative for the gene, then you may get a false sense of security. Many factors affect your risk of developing breast cancer. In fact, only five percent of breast cancers are caused by the BRAC1 gene.

 

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