Genetic testing is an individualized approach based on medical and family history, and the condition being tested for. Single-gene testing looks for changes in a single gene, and can be used to detect certain conditions. However, it is important to note that the presence of a genetic marker does not necessarily mean that you will get sick or have the disease. Advances in genomics have allowed people to learn what genetic disorders they may be predisposed to through genetic testing.
For example, if you have a family history of cystic fibrosis, you may choose to be tested. Genetic testing is not predictive testing, as environmental factors also affect the development of diseases. Your healthcare provider will use the type of DNA test, your medical history, and your family history to interpret the results. This result may indicate that a person is not affected by a particular disorder, does not carry a specific genetic variant, or does not have a greater risk of developing a certain disease.
It is also important to realize that genetic change is not possible, since genes can mutate due to environmental hazards. However, only a certified and licensed genetic counselor can help you identify the best option, one that fits your needs and that is most interpretable for a detailed diagnosis. Genetic test results, whether positive or negative for detecting a genetic mutation, can be beneficial. Sometimes, test results don't provide information because all people have common, natural variations in DNA, called polymorphisms, that don't affect health. Genetic testing can be an effective way to protect against certain diseases and conditions.
It is important to remember that while genetic testing can detect some conditions, it doesn't detect everything. However, it can provide valuable information about your health and help you make informed decisions about your future. Your healthcare provider will connect you with a genetic counselor who can evaluate you and evaluate the information available to you and help you decide what to do next.