Genetic Testing Where Do You Start ?
Actress Angelina Jolie recently announced that she had a double mastectomy. Her decision followed voluntary genetic testing that found a mutation in the BRCA gene that increased her risk of an inherited form of breast and ovarian cancer. Her announcement sparked widespread discussion about genetic testing, especially around the questions of who should consider testing, what actions you should take based on test results, what does testing cost and who is eligible.
The availability of genetic tests has increased during the last decade. There are now more than 3,000 conditions for which a genetic test is available. BRCA gene testing is just one example. The results of genetic testing are used to help understand an individual's risk for disease and help guide treatment decisions. The decision to undergo genetic testing can be complicated testing is best done by a clinician trained in genetics. Genetic counselors are clinicians trained in genetic medicine and risk assessment. With so many test and options, it's important to understand test and counseling options.
Genetic test costs vary. While there are many in the $200 to $300 range, some are very expensive. The genetic test that Jolie had, a comprehensive BRCA1 and BRCA2 test, costs about $3,000.
The decision to undergo genetic testing can be complicated. It is best to consult a clinician trained in genetics. Genetic counselors can advise on testing options and risk assessment. Given the complexity of this medical field, it is important to proceed with caution and to thoroughly research the subject before making a decision.
If you are interested in finding out more about Genetic Testing give us a call (203)230-0543.