Genetic testing, or examining the DNA (the chemical database), can provide important information related to the body which can predict an illness or abnormality. It can serve as an important tool for detecting and treating an illness besides helping in its prevention.
Nonetheless, genetic testing is not a full proof tool in the hands of experts for combating an illness. It should essentially be predisposed with counseling both before and after undergoing the test. Here are the potential benefits of genetic testing which can enhance treatment by primarily determining the right course of healing.
Benefits Of Genetic Testing
Determine The Right Treatment
Through genetic testing, an expert can obtain the diagnosis for symptom(s) by ascertaining whether a person is a carrier for a genetic disease. Although a carrier reveals an altered gene, it does not essentially mean he/she will not suffer from the disease.
There is a possibility that the altered gene is passed on to the next generation. Even in the absence of symptoms, genetic testing can furnish knowledge about inheritance of a disease or other health condition.
Assess Pregnancy Outcomes
Expectant parents are likely to benefit through prenatal testing by knowing whether an unborn child will suffer from a genetic condition. Newborn babies can also be screened for protein problems through newborn screening. The absence of information about a potential illness leaves no scope for its treatment or cure, which is likely to have spread considerably until being diagnosed.
Enhance Quality Of Life
Genetic testing can provide the needed resources to make healthy changes in living. For example, if a disease is suspected and can be prevented through lifestyle changes, the same can be applied in real life. Many couples can also benefit through genetic testing by making informed choices like whether to have a child or not when there are dangers or risks.
With the help of genetic testing, a person’s genetic makeup can be ascertained and utilized for gainful purposes like preparing a customized diet plan also. However, this area needs more research and essentially does not provide genuine and favorable results.
People who are at high risk for a genetic disease are living with uncertainty. They are not aware of their and their children’s future. Through genetic testing, this ambiguity about the presence or absence of an illness can be removed. And if there is a potential threat, steps can be taken (wherever feasible) to prevent it. Although genetic testing does not produce results which are completely reliable and accurate, it can certainly help in getting a better understanding regarding the risk for certain illness and health outcomes.
Persons at risk for harmful genetic changes can seek routine medical check-ups and screenings for early detection of a potentially fatal disease (as cancer). Preventive surgery is an option to save cancer incidence and reduce death rate. Genetic testing can help dually.
If there is a negative result for an illness, it brings great relief. Even if the result is positive, it helps the patient weigh the pros and cons of a treatment or adopt preventive measures. It can serve an important pathway in finding the disease early and preventing death.
Enhance Safety And Effectiveness
Pharmacogenetics, which studies genetic makeup and the body’s response to drugs, is another potential benefit of genetic testing. Over a period of time, this may enhance the safety and effectiveness of medicines through ways like reducing side effects or risk for an illness. Pharmacogenetics determines the type and dose of medicines which is appropriate for a person.