Diseases come as a shock and we end up thinking if we could have some early warnings. Though there are many people who are always watchful of their health, observing symptoms that need attention, a few disastrous ailments come sneakily even after much awareness. Especially the genetic diseases pose a threat to the health, even after a healthy lifestyle. To your rescue from the risk of hereditary diseases, the advent of “genetic testing” has become a much appreciated and preferred choice among doctors and people.
Through genetic testing, which are now done even before and after the childbirth, you can get your genes mapped for the presence of DNA or RNA carrying any disease risk from your ancestors.
A few diseases whose risks could be identified with genetic testing are listed below.
- Breast and Ovarian Cancer
- Celiac disease, an autoimmune disease
- Age-related Macular Degeneration
- Bipolar Disorder
- Parkinson’s disease
Types of Genetic Testing
There are three main types of genetic testing, among which DNA testing is done specifically to determine cancer susceptibility of a person.
- Chromosome Studies: It evaluates the number and structure of chromosomes. It is done by collecting a blood sample, prenatal specimen, skin biopsy, or other tissue samples.
- DNA Studies: There are direct and indirect ways of DNA studies that read the DNA sequencing to identify any mutation. If the DNA of a person with cancer is tested, and a particular mutation is discovered, other family members can be tested to identify the same and take precautionary action.
- Biochemical Genetic Studies: It studies enzymes of the body to find any abnormality leading to noticeable signs and symptoms in a person. So, instead of identifying the gene mutation that causes this defect in the enzyme, the defective enzyme is used reach to the gene which has been mutated. It can done from a blood sample, urine sample, spinal fluid, or other tissue samples.
These genetic tests give an insight into the genetic health risk factors of a person and guides a medical professional to take appropriate action. It also helps in determining the best treatment methodology that can work effectively in a person with defined genetic status. Hence, the timely medical intervention helps in averting a number of impending diseases which can turn fatal and unmanageable.
Genetic testing is available at a number of labs in multi-specialty hospitals and other private diagnostic centres. It is advisable to have a genetic testing only after expert’s advice.
“Risk is not a diagnosis”. Genetic tests help in knowing the risks and do not provide any definite diagnosis. You can book appointment for a genetic test at a lab near you.