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What Diseases Can Be Detected Through Genetic Testing?

written by: Superbwriter•edited by: lrohner•updated: 5/23/2011

DNA testing for genetic health risks has benefits, but it also has some disadvantages. Learn what they are so you can decide if you should pursue testing.

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    Although environmental conditions and lifestyle choices make a large contribution to a person’s overall health, genetics and heredity also account for a large, if not major role in disease manifestation. As a result, DNA testing for genetic health risks is of vital importance as it can assist in early detection and timely treatment of many genetically inherited diseases.

    Several diseases such as diabetes, some kinds of cancer, arthritis and blood disorders have a genetic inheritance. With the completion of the Human Genome Project, we now have the capacity to test anyone's genetic risk for several disorders and diseases using the process of DNA testing for genetic health risks. This helps physicians to make important clinical decisions based on the information obtained from a person’s genetic make-up.

    DNA testing for genetic health risks is also useful because it helps you to get information on any genetic health disorders or conditions which are running in your family and may have been passed to you through a genetic mutation. DNA testing for genetic health risks also helps in identifying the presence of any important genetic biomarkers which may indicate health risks for certain diseases in the future.

    DNA testing for genetic health risks can be now used to determine your risk for any genetic disease. When this information is used in conjunction with your family's medical history, this genetic testing can determine which diseases you are most at risk for. With this information, you may be able to prevent certain disorders or better manage a disorder you already have. Learn more about DNA diagnostic testing.

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    Which Diseases Can Be Detected Through DNA Testing for Genetic Health Risks?

    DNA testing for genetic health risks is done for the following groups of diseases:

      • Your genetic risk for different types of cancers can be done through DNA testing for genetic health risks. The types of cancers which can be identified include basal cell carcinoma, bladder, breast, lung, rectal, ovarian, prostrate, pancreatic, testicular and thyroid cancers. Your genetic risk for glioama as well as leukemia can be detected also.
      • Blood disorders for which DNA testing for genetic health risks is useful include chronic lymphocytic leukemia, hemochromatosis, sickle cell anemia, systemic lupus erythematosus and venous thromboembolism.
      • Bones, joints and muscular problems for which a person’s genetic risk can be calculated using DNA testing for genetic health risks are rheumatoid arthritis and gout.
      • Brain and nerved disorders which can be detected include Alzheimer’s disease, essential tremor, multiple sclerosis, rare genetic disorders, nicotine addiction and restless legs syndrome.
      • Eyes-related disorders identifiable through DNA testing for genetic health risks include age caused macular degeneration and exfoliation glaucoma.
      • Heart problems for which genetic risk can be found include brain and abdominal aortic aneurysm, arterial fibrillation, incidence of strokes and heart attacks, hypertension and peripheral arterial diseases.
      • Digestive and metabolic disorders for which DNA testing for genetic health risks is available today include alcohol flush reactions, bitter taste issues, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, gallstones, lactose intolerance, being obese, diabetes and ulcers.
      • The tendency to have kidney and urinary system disorders such as chronic kidney problems and kidney stones can be identified also via DNA testing for genetic health risks.
      • Genetic risks for lung and breathing-related disorders like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary problems (these frequently which occur in genetic disorders like Smith–Magenis syndrome and cerebrocostomandibular syndrome) are diagnosed and confirmed through DNA testing for genetic health risks.
      • The possibility of your developing skin, hair and nails problems like male pattern baldness and psoriasis can also be detected.
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        How Is DNA Testing For Genetic Health Risks Done?

        DNA testing for genetic health risks can be carried out by undergoing genetic counseling and submitting your DNA sample in any of the widely available professional testing labs which offer genetic health scans. Another option is the use of a DNA testing kit at home to collect the sample and then sending it for DNA testing for genetic health risks at any specialized lab in your area. In summary the future of medical testing and diagnostics will probably be based on use of DNA testing for genetic health risks.

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        References:

        1) Connor, S. (2007). DNA test will detect prostate cancer risk. Retrieved on February 27th, 2011 from; http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-wellbeing/health-news/dna-test-will-detect-prostate-cancer-risk-442952.html

        2) “Genetics and health." (2010). Genetics Home Reference. Retrieved on February 27th, 2011 from; http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/Resources/health

        3) “Lab Tests Online." (2010). The universe of genetic testing. Retrieved on February 27th, 2011 from; http://www.labtestsonline.org/understanding/features/genetics-10.html

        4) “Genetic testing." (2010). National Human Genome Research Institute. Retrieved September 30, 2010, from http://www.genome.gov/10002335#al-2

        5) Pollack, A. (2006). “A crystal ball submerged in a test tube." Retrieved September 17, 2008, from the New York Times Web site: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/13/business/13diagnose.html?pagewanted=print

        6) Yale Medical Group Staff. (2005). “What are the uses of genetic testing which may be important for me to know?’ Retrieved on February 27th, 2011 from; http://ymghealthinfo.org/content.asp?pageid=P07372.