Learn More About Your Health With Genetic Testing

Learn More About Your Health With Genetic Testing

Genetic testing has become much more prominent in the past year or two. The focus has been on nationally advertised tests that are focused on finding out about your ancestry, but there is much more to discover when choosing genetic testing.

Choose a Provider

Find a provider who is licensed to operate in your state and whose website or other information describes the experience in the areas of testing you’re interested in. For example, if you’re concerned about your cancer risk, you should see that area of expertise prominently mentioned in their literature. Another common reason for genetic testing is to check for abnormalities in the chromosomal makeup of you and your partner, prior to planning to have children.

Understand How It Works

Most commonly, you will either spit into a tube or swab your cheek. If it’s done with a home delivery kit, it’s important to follow the directions for collecting the sample to avoid contaminating the sample. The company that does your testing will use one of the many microarray service providers who are out there. This provides a baseline to compare your sample against for certain abnormalities and risk factors.

See if You’re Covered

Your insurance plan may cover testing if a doctor has referred you. This is generally due to a known risk factor, like a family history of a certain type of cancer. If you are receiving drug therapy for a disease or condition, genetic testing is sometimes used to determine the optimal dosage for you. Absent such factors, you cannot expect insurance to cover testing to find out what your family or ethnic makeup is.

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Genetic testing is advancing healthcare at an exponential rate. It promises to allow us to understand our risk factors in a way we’ve never understood them before. You need to recognize the difference in various testing providers to choose the one that’s right for you.

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