Are You Genetically Tested?
To Test or Not to Test?
Medical news state that genetic testing should be administer to all interested parties or individuals. Although, it’s still not given much attention in the Third World countries, like the Philippines, it is a must that medical practitioners or the medical staff in a certain hospital conduct these tests to those who are eager to partake. Nowadays, it is not affordable to the poor families who usually admit their patients to the free medical wards. (Please check he book, Does it run in the Family?, a guide book on genetic testing at Amazon.)
Genetic testing allows the genetic diagnosis of vulnerabilities to inherit diseases, and can also be used to determine the child’s paternity (genetic father) or a person’s ancestry.
Genetic tests are now available for various inheritable diseases, including the following:
· Cystic fibrosis
· Down syndrome
· Duchenne muscular dystrophy
· Huntington’s disease
· Marfan syndrome
· SCID (severe combined immunodeficiency)
· Sickle cell anemia
· Tay-Sachs disease
· Breast and ovarian cancers
With the age of genetic testing, here are some questions that we should ask before taking the big step.
1) Are you and your family emotionally ready?
Positive results will have, surely, major repercussions for you and your family. Many doctors agreed that testing be done only if there are medical treatments available to prevent, delay or lessen the disease’s impact.
2) Are the tests reliable?
The tests are predictable when you have inherited illness in your family and it is known that gene mutation is causing the illness.
A number of genetic tests may reveal if you’re at risk for breast, skin, bladder, colon, prostate and other cancers. For instance, if you inherit an E4 gene, a form of a protein gene called apolipoprotein-E (APOE) from one of your parents or two, you run a 90-per cent chance to have an Alzheimer’s disease.
3) Do test results affect health insurance?
US Congress enacted a law preventing insurance companies from using genetic-testing information to deny coverage to participants in group plans. Under the same law, however, companies are allowed to hike their rates for an individual customer who tests positive and is at high risk for a disease.
It’s everybody’s concern. It doesn’t just affect a small fraction of the population. All of us are carrying some or many (5 to 50 or more) flawed genes in our bodies that place us at risk for some illness.
When a medical aide measured my blood pressure, aside from other tests(Ishihara Eye Test, X-ray, Blood Typing/HIV Testing, Body Ultra-Sound, Pscho-test, among others) in the American Outpatient Clinic in Manila, Philippines for seafarers, the lady said that I have an erratic heartbeat. "Is it dangerous?", I asked her back. She said not at the moment. She further said that I should see a heart specialist for a more clear and concise answer. That I would do. Soon.
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