Testing, Testing

While only about 6 percent of adults have undergone genetic testing, 56 percent of adults said they would be interested in taking a genetic test to discover their risk of developing diseases like Alzheimer's or cancer, according to a poll conducted by Stat News and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Respondents between the ages of 30 and 64 were more likely to be interested in such testing (62 percent said they were interested in testing) as compared to adults under 30 (50 percent) and adults 65 and older (47 percent).

Deciding whether or not to undergo such testing is quite personal, writes George Yohrling from the Huntington's Disease Society of America at Stat News. His group, he notes, neither encourages nor discourages people from pursuing testing. He adds, though, that most people who are at risk of developing Huntington's disease opt to not get tested, as there is no cure for the condition.

Susan Brown from the breast cancer nonprofit organization Susan G. Komen adds that genetic counselors can help people who are trying to decide whether they should undergo genetic testing as well as help them make sense of the results if they do. "A counselor can also help a person think about the possible impact of possible results before testing occurs, and then interpret test results if the decision is made to get tested," she adds.

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Comments

Tue, 02/16/2016 - 2:52pm

Submitted by thebrcaresponde...

A certified genetic counselor is key in the genetic testing equation. A genetic test is only as good as its interpretation. There are MANY hereditary cancer syndromes. A certified genetic expert is the most qualified expert to throughly assess an individual's cancer risk and then deem what genetic tests (if any) make sense for that individual.
The National Society of Genetic Counselors http://findageneticcounselor.org to find a certified genetic counselor.

@BRCAresponder
Hereditary Cancer/BRCA Health Advocate

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