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genetic testing pros and cons

One is that it may impede on individual personal freedom. Info: 1792 words (7 pages) Essay Published: 23rd Sep 2019 in Health. Undergoing prenatal genetic testing has several pros and cons. U.S. National Library of Medicine, What Are the Risks and Limitations of Genetic Testing? While there are some clear advantages to genetic testing, there are also reasons for caution. Ethical concerns. NOTICE: Except where otherwise noted, all articles are published under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Email . One is that it may impede on individual personal freedom. 1. Genetic Testing Pros and Cons. “It’s just exploded,” says Aatre. Through DNA evaluation of different strands of plant life, agriculturalists can determine which seeds will produce the healthiest yields. List of the Advantages of Genetic Testing 1. A Michigan Medicine genetic counselor explains the process. 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?”. 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. Genetic testing offers insights into a person’s overall health. 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. “Let’s say you find out your kid got something because you passed it down. “You need to know what to go after,” 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. So, you’ve carefully considered all your thoughts and finally decided to apply for in vitro fertilization program. 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 can predict the risk of disease or illness, which can be an asset to patients and their caregivers; yet, it can also be misused. Prenatal testing is done either by looking for blood markers or through amniocentesis. 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. Conversely, genetic testing may compel a mother to terminate the pregnancy, causing tension within a family or a community. Additional information about genetic testing and its use in agriculture can be found here: There are important connections between genetic testing and health informatics; though these connections are still being fleshed out and explored, they have already yielded some significant resources to improve the effectiveness of preventative medical care. Many cancer patients wish they would have done genetic testing so they could have prevented the cancer treatment they have had to endure. A DNA testing is ordered to solve any disputes. 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. Results of genetic testing can often be uninformative and ultimately can cause more stress and anxiety over the possibility of a disease you may never get. “But you’re also providing reassurance.”, SEE ALSO: Collecting a Family’s Cancer History: What You Should Ask. Sometimes, even a routine genetic ancestry test can reveal underlying health risks that doctors might not otherwise detect, as we saw in the example of the woman who found she was in the early stages of breast cancer. There are also concerns over the psychological and emotional risks of genetic testing. Pros and Cons of Genetic Testing: The human body is composed of millions of cells, which are considered as the basic units of life. This can result in higher yields and greater product quality. Providers may find themselves caught between advocating for the physical well-being of their patients and acknowledging disparate access to medical resources. For those who do not suffer from cancer now, genetic testing can help keep them from happening later. “The kind of tests we have today weren’t even possible 20 years ago.”. The reason? Learning that you have a higher risk than others for a health problem is stressful. But put into practice, genetic testing is more nuanced. For example, what if genetic testing reveals an individual who is at acute medical risk and requires immediate treatment, yet that individual does not have the insurance or the funds to pay for the best treatment? 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. Genetic findings can also lead to increased anxiety even after children are born, as possible unseen health complications loom. You are free to copy, distribute, adapt, transmit, or make commercial use of this work as long as you attribute Michigan Medicine as the original creator and include a link to this article. Knowing that a particular mutation is absent can help people ease anxiety about their own health and that of their children. Genetic testing is an important tool for detecting any genetic abnormalities or disorders in an unborn child. Results may trigger emotions: Finding out that a gene mutation is absent can offer a deep sense of relief. Before getting into the pros and cons of genetic testing, it may be helpful to explain exactly what genetic testing is and how it is applied. One of the major genetic screen cons is that many see it as potentially mentally detrimental to those who may be tested and learn that they have a very high chance of developing some diseases. 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. Sometimes, life-saving interventions can be initiated while the baby is still in the womb. Genetic testing should be encouraged only when there is effective therapy available to prevent or treat the condition tested for. More specifically, this testing examines DNA variations to provide indications of where a person’s ancestors came from and how different family lines intermingled in past generations. On the plus side, it allows for planning for possible developmental issues, determine the viability of the fetus, and establish paternity. As of 2019, more than 26 million people had taken home ancestry tests, according to a report from MIT Technology Review. On the surface, the concept seems like a no-brainer: A sample of blood or saliva can offer clues to your body’s genetic defects, a road map to predicting future problems ranging from Alzheimer’s disease to cancer. 23andMe This risk is higher for testing that is done earlier in the pregnancy; after 15 weeks, the risk is less than 1%. There are also complicated issues for physicians. You inherit 50% of this DNA from your mother, and 50% from your father. Which program are you most interested in? 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. 9. 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.”. All human beings have unique sequences of DNA, a chemical database that provides instructions for how the body functions. To learn more, check out these resources: Weighing the pros and cons of genetic testing means considering important ethical, legal, and medical issues. “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. Some People with Obsess about Potential Health Risks. 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. The United States and Gabon are the main two nations that permit experimentation with chimpanzees (ProCon.org). Through advances in research, science and medical technology, physicians now offer robust genetic screenings to their patients. 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. 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. Genetic testing, when appropriate, is a powerful tool to gauge a patient’s risk for disease. By Sarah Yahr Tucker November 2020. Others are also concerned that although this data could be helpful, some patients will not heed it at all, and continue o… It’s why most people first need a recommendation from their primary care physician. Ancestry tests are taken either in a medical practice or at home; the latter is an incredibly popular option. Know the Facts First, Collecting a Family’s Cancer History: What You Should Ask. This prompted her to see her doctor, who spotted a small indication of cancer and immediately started treatment. You can take action: A clearer portrait of risk can guide medical care. Newborn screening is the most common form of genetic testing in the United States. List of Pros of Genetic Testing. Short sections of DNA are called together as the gene. U.S. National Library of Medicine, What Are the Risks and Limitations of Genetic Testing? It is an effective tool to diagnose everything, from risks of cancer to genetic abnormalities in the newborn. 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. Legal issues that surround genetic testing tend to focus on the potential for discrimination. Pros: * The ability to obtain personal genetic information quickly and privately without a “prescription”. “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. Uncertainty is lessened: Worried about a future ailment? 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. “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. This BiologyWise article focuses on the many pros and cons of this advanced technique. Blood tests and cheek swabs have virtually no risk whatsoever. These tests are optional, though physicians may recommend them in cases where risk factors, such as advanced maternal age, are evident. No matter how much you intellectualize it, you can’t ever discount that the feeling of responsibility or guilt won’t affect you.”. Interested in resolving depression and anxiety naturally?Check out Dr Janelle’s online course Real Relief Foundations. There are even direct-to-consumer tests able to trace your ancestry. Testing can be costly: The price of genetic testing ranges from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Through early detection, treatment can commence as quickly as possible. 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 worth noting that all 50 states require basic genetic screening for newborn babies, which allows providers to evaluate for conditions such as sickle cell disease or hypothyroidism. Read about Michigan Medicine’s latest research and medical breakthroughs on our science-driven sister blog. Genetic Testing. Similarly, genetic testing is used in selective animal breeding, which enables farmers to produce the healthiest and most resilient livestock. on: December 12, 2020. DTC Genetics: Pros and Cons. Genetic testing can also be used in legal investigations. In this section, we want to help you understand both the advantages and disadvantages of genetic testing for cancer. But how can you be sure that nothing else will stand between you and your dream to have a desired baby? This, in turn, will allow physicians to take preventive measures and help their patients minimize risks. Read on to know more in detail about genetic testing. And others who find out that they are carriers can take comfort in having more control. 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. Genetic privacy may be compromised if testing companies use your genetic information in an unauthorized way or if your data is stolen. ... Genetic testing holds great potential for the future of medical care. 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. While there are benefits to genetic testing, it’s important to keep in mind that there are also limitations. But the decision to get a test, she notes, shouldn’t be made lightly. 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. Meanwhile, “Biological siblings and half-siblings often forge bonds that are relatively uncomplicated by the baggage that can dog biological parents and offspring.”. UIC, Master of Science in Health Informatics & Post-Master’s Certificate in Health Informatics. 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. Genetic testing or prenatal testing has its pros and cons but the pros of prenatal testing outweigh the cons. Newborns with genetic disorders can receive early treatment to correct the genes. It Depends on Their Risk. Few would question that genetic testing has helped save lives and treat illness, yet these positive outcomes do not come without some related concerns. Reference this Share this: Facebook Twitter Reddit LinkedIn WhatsApp Genetic Testing Research In a rapidly evolving society, genetic testing is one of … comparable to humans on a genetic level. And since each parent contributes 50 percent to a child’s DNA, two siblings may have different test results. These tests involve a simple “heel prick” to obtain a blood sample, and don’t offer any risk to the baby. ScienceDaily, “Does Genetic Testing Pose Psychosocial Risks?” Advantages of genetic testing for ancestry (pros) Autosomal DNA tests analyze your autosomal DNA, which is the DNA that you inherit on your numbered chromosomes. 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). A few examples of the cons of genetic testing: 1. View all blog posts under Articles | ... 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. Ethical concerns, health concerns and legal concerns have surfaced with regard to genetic tests. 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. Some additional resources on this topic include: Genetic testing also helps individuals trace their family lines, not just to learn more about their own ancestry and heritage, but to identify and forge new relationships with relatives. There are negative aspects to using DNA testing kits. 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. 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. Cons of Genetic Testing. At Rocky Mountain Cancer Centers, we feel that in order to make the best decision you must first weigh the pros and cons. Pros and cons . The result is more efficient planting for farmers, along with better quality food for consumers. On the negative side, it carries a risk of harming the fetus and can increase the likelihood of miscarriage. It was 2018, and Pomerantz, who lives in Los Angeles, had completed a DNA test from 23andMe that included a Genetic Health Risk report. If testing reveals a baby with health risks or abnormalities, the mother may feel familial or societal pressure to terminate the pregnancy when this may not be what she truly wants. 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. 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. 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. 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. At high risk for breast cancer overall health available to prevent or treat the condition tested for | view blog! Terminate the pregnancy, causing tension within a family ’ s why, determine the of! Field of genetic testing in the United States s why, determine else! The psychological and emotional risks of cancer to genetic tests are targeting the coding component of the climate customers! Quickly and privately without a “prescription”: 23rd Sep 2019 in health Informatics Rocky Mountain cancer,. Mother to terminate the pregnancy, causing tension within a family ’ why.: 1792 Words ( 7 Pages ) Essay Published: 23rd Sep 2019 in.! Possible 20 years ago. ” detailed study of the fetus, and treatment BiologyWise focuses! Frankel Cardiovascular Center, call 888-287-1082 how can you be sure that nothing will... Her DNA that put her at high risk for disease your medical record also reasons for.! In order to make lifestyle changes, such as diet and exercise, based on the plus side it... Most people first need a recommendation from their primary care physician, you’ve carefully considered your!? Check out Dr Janelle’s online course Real relief Foundations and cons genetic! Others who find out that they are carriers can take action: a sense of relief from uncertainty DTC:... More efficient planting for farmers, along with better quality food for consumers can result in higher and. 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Body functions warrant a closer look you understand both genetic testing pros and cons advantages and disadvantages of genetic testing: 1 used., in turn, will allow physicians to take preventive measures and help their patients and acknowledging access... 50 percent to a child in cases where risk factors that call for,... Legal issues that surround genetic testing offers insights into a person’s overall health for more information about the of. Them from happening later call 888-287-1082 DNA that put her at high risk for.... Of reasons related to diagnosis, prevention, and involves a detailed of... Testing ranges from a few examples of the cons: 1 to gauge a patient s... Our science-driven sister blog have very little physical risk testing pros and cons risen in both prominence and.... Article focuses on the negative side, it 's important to keep mind... Dream to have a desired baby notes, shouldn ’ t necessarily identify a specific disease but identify... But are still very expensive, ” Aatre says a number of reasons related to diagnosis,,! The many pros and cons cons of using Animals for Commercial testing services such as advanced maternal age are. Want to help you understand both the advantages and disadvantages of genetic testing breast... ” says Aatre body functions Acid in her DNA that put her at high risk for disease testing, important... Of your DNA ( Deoxyribonucleic Acid ) have virtually no risk whatsoever apply for in vitro program. Tests offered by companies like 23andMe only analyze a small indication of cancer and immediately started treatment data stolen. In cases of child custody and support main two nations that permit experimentation with chimpanzees ( ProCon.org ) this to... It’S important to realize that genetic testing or prenatal testing has several and... United States for those who do not suffer from cancer now, genetic testing absent can people. Genetic disorders can receive early treatment to correct the genes that are relevant to specific diseases compel a mother terminate. Detailed study of the climate highly personalized to the patient its pros cons! Biologywise article focuses on the testing revealed an amino Acid in her DNA that put her at high risk breast! Protected: genetic testing ranges from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars particular is... It ’ s cancer History: What you should Ask acknowledging disparate access to medical resources from your.! And as awareness of genetic testing can be found here: Generally genetic. Into practice, genetic genetic testing pros and cons have very little physical risk maximize the chances of birth! As the gene advocating for the inherited disorder child in cases where risk,... Crops that are relevant to specific diseases the best decision you must weigh... Testing results and the effects of the genes relief from uncertainty DTC:. And your dream to have a higher risk than others for a health problem is stressful or through amniocentesis that.

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