One of the most advanced screening procedures available, genetic testing and screening provides patients with the knowledge they need to make better decisions about their health.
Why is genetic testing and screening performed?
Doctors may recommend genetic testing if the patient’s family has a history of the condition
- to help determine the cause of a disease or disorder
- to determine if an unborn child has a gene or a damaged gene that may cause a disease, or
- to help the doctor determine the best treatment for your condition.
Many patients are screened for genetic disorders to determine if they are at higher risk for developing these disorders or if they may carry the gene to pass along to children.
While genetic testing may be recommended by your doctor, you should fully understand the implications of this testing before making your choice. In fact, doctors at Florida Hospital recommend seeking pre-test counseling to understand these important factors:
- What the test involves
- How accurate is genetic testing
- How will you receive the results
- How will these results be shared with your health care provider
- Emotional and psychological support available to you
Remember, even if you test positive for the gene, it does not mean you will develop the disease. Likewise, if you do not test positive for the gene, you may still develop the disease. Your doctor can help interpret the results for you.
What does the test entail?
Genetic testing and screening can be completed on samples of your skin, blood, hair, urine or other tissues. You may be asked to give a blood sample or have a swab from the inside of your mouth.
What are the risks of genetic testing and screening?
While the test procedures are considered safe, the results can affect your emotions, your job and even your health care coverage. It’s important to determine how you will react if you have a positive or negative test.
For more information, schedule an appointment at Florida Hospital to speak with one of the specialists.