Benefits Of Genetic Testing

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The Benefits of Genetic Testing Today, there is more genetic data available for humans than there has ever been. (Regalado 56) Genetic testing has been vital in learning this new information. A genetic test is a test that identifies changes in a patient’s chromosomes, genes or proteins. Genetic testing is completely voluntary and making the decision to have a test done is very complex (What are the Benefits of Genetic Testing? 1). While there are many benefits of genetic testing, there are also a few drawbacks. Test results can cause tension between family members; because not only can the tests reveal something about the patient, they can reveal information about people related to the patient… particularly information that makes people uncomfortable…show more content…
Prenatal testing or newborn testing can be completed on a child to ensure that the child is not at risk for diseases. Prenatal testing is testing for a baby that is still in the womb to determine if they have or carry a disease. Newborn screening tests a newborn baby for the same reasons as a prenatal test (Frequently Asked Questions About Genetic Testing. 1). Prenatal testing poses the risk of having a miscarriage because amniotic fluid around the fetus is required to complete the test (What are the benefits of genetic testing? 1). When amniotic fluid is extracted from around the fetus, the likelihood of having a miscarriage increases. A few other tests that can be run are carrier tests, pharmacogenomic tests, and presymptomatic tests. A carrier test is a test that can determine if the patient is a carrier for a disease. A pharmacogenomic test shows a doctor or researcher how the patient’s body reacts to certain medicines that could possibly be used to treat the disease. These tests can also show a doctor or researcher if a treatment is helping the body or hurting it. A presymptomatic test identifies gene changes that could increase the likelihood of developing a disease (Frequently Asked Questions About Genetic Testing. 1). A genetic counselor can aid a patient in making a decision about a particular genetic test by giving unbiased information…show more content…
Cancer comes from the accumulation of genetic abnormalities in somatic cells, which are all cells other than reproductive cells. The basic mechanism of cancer is mutation; and mutations can either be acquired because of exposure to carcinogens or inherited from blood related family. Germline mutations are passed through the family and appear in 5-10% of cancer cases. Sporadic or Somatic mutations are caused by exposure to carcinogens throughout someone’s lifetime. They are the result of deficiencies in DNA repair, endogenous and exogenous exposure to carcinogens, and enzymatic alterations in DNA. Endogenous means that the exposure originated inside the body while exogenous means that the exposure to carcinogens originated from outside the body. Normal and regulatory genes are the most common target of genetic damage (The Importance of Genetic Testing in Cancer 1). After years of testing, officials have been able to clarify genetic predisposition as well as learn more about cancer cells. Because of research and testing, there are 500 known genes involved in cancer development. Genetic testing in cancer is important because it allows the healthcare professional to determine what treatment the patient will most benefit from, the patient’s response to the therapy, what the drug is targeting and drug resistance in the patient.

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