For me it would depend on the disease and the reliability of the test/gene marker. There are things like Huntington's, where if you have the gene, it's a pretty sure thing you'll get the disease. If there's a risk for one of those types of conditions, then I think a person owes it to their family to get the test. I wouldn't have children if I knew I was sentencing them to care for me through a disease like that, and giving them a one-in-four chance of getting it. Tay Sach's is another one; if both you and your spouse have the gene, it's time to look into adoption.
But then there are things like Alzheimers where lifestyle and luck are big factors; there's no test that can predict your likelihood of getting it. Plus, if you do get it, it's usually late in life. Alheimer's runs in my family, so if there were a really accurate test, I'd probably have it done in my 50s or 60s. That leaves time for planning, but you're not sitting there your whole adult life imagining the symptoms.
Really, a lot of it comes down to how important you think planning is. That's the main thing these tests give you-- an opportunity to decide how you want your care handled and to make it as easy as possible on the people who are going to have to take care of you.
I would not do it. I am the type that would worry about it until it happened. I can tell what diseases run in my family simply by looking back at the current generations of my family. Basically, healthy living could stop most of them.
As someone mentioned, you can have the gene or marker and never get the disease. You could also not have the gene or marker and develop the disease. Some of the most recent situations have caused others to make rash decisions that may or may not help them.
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2,116 9/3/13 10:46 A
I definitely would.
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9/3/13 10:15 A
That was my thinking too. I checked all the boxes for them to use the data without id. I can't wait to get my results.
9/3/13 4:23 A
I did 23 and Me's genetic testing, I learned where my ancestors came from, got linked up with 967 cousins, found out I had 3 gene mutations, found out how much neanderthal DNA was in me, and found I need to be careful when taking 2 drugs (one of them coumadin) because I am more likely to develop toxic side effects from them. You can allow your results and data to be used (without personal identifiers attached) by scientists for research (or you can refuse that but I think it would be awesome if a new treatment or drug was developed this way)
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1,299 9/3/13 2:25 A
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9/3/13 12:55 A
Maybe I would just to make sure I don't have female cancers, that would be it though. I already know I could get diabetes some day unless I crack the whip on my eating habits and exercising the rest of my life.
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9/3/13 12:44 A
9/2/13 11:35 P
I'd consider genetic testing to see if there's a genetic component to some recurrent issues but, as is the case with so many, I'd think long and hard about who else might have access to that information and how it could be used.
One great aspect of the Affordable Care Act is that a pre-existing condition can no longer be used to disqualify applicants for health insurance, which is a relief to many people I know, and might lead to more people feeling comfortable with the prospect of genetic testing.
Since my father has had both colon cancer and melanoma I get regular check-ups in those areas.
If my family had a history of genetic diseases I might consider it if I was younger & considering having more children or have my children have it done to find out if they are carrier's on anything.
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2,545 8/31/13 1:27 P
If I was worried about something specific I would but for general knowledge, I don't think so.
I think some peeps would worry too much about possibilities and always be looking for symptoms. Others would be fatalistic, Oh well I'm going to die from this anyways. Since we can't prevent a lot of these illness, I'm not sure knowing would be useful.
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16,729 8/31/13 1:02 P
I know so many people who the minute they get a little warning from the doctor immediately surf the internet (before their test results even get back) and they look for the worst case scenario and decide they have those symptoms. And these aren't even the hypochondriacs.
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8/29/13 3:56 P
My DH and I just sent in our dna to 23 and me. A site that does both health and genome type. I'm anxious to see more about my family tree. I got back about 4 generations and have neither the time nor the aptitude to get farther.
As for the diseases that run in families.... Probably nice to know what to watch out for. I don't have to ask if we tend to be big....lol. My grandmother died in 1916 flu and needed a special coffin because she was 300 lbs. In those days she could have worked as a 'fat lady'.
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8/29/13 3:44 P
8/29/13 3:26 P
yes I'd do it but I already live healthy, I don't know what I could do more.
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136,613 8/29/13 8:32 A
, I'd do it to be mindful, for historical reasons and to combat it continuing, if I could!
Nope. And just because you may have a genetic likely for a disease, doesn't guarantee you will get it. For example it may show an 80% likelihood, which is high but there's also a 20% chance you won't. I figure why stress out. Plus, I can't afford such a test and there really aren't any genetic diseases in my family.
I'm not really afraid of knowing my genetic info but I don't really feel it is necessary for me to have genetic testing to improve my health outlook. Based on my family members' health history, I don't really feel like I don't know what I should be looking out for or trying to prevent.
I feel it might be more useful for my dh and dd to have genetic testing due to family members on his side having serious diseases that may have a much higher risk of developing due to genetics. It might be a real relief to know where they stood.
8/28/13 2:00 P
I've had genetic testing done to find out whether I have the same disease as my sister. Because hers is a disease that can be genetic or a mutation during conception we weren't sure if my brother and I had it since it can run from so severe the person doesn't survive to the person not knowing they have it until they have an affected child. I probably would have other genetic testing done if I thought there were a serious familial risk. However, I'm also with you on the concerns about what would be done with the information and who would have access to it. The testing I've already had done was necessary before moving forward with treatment for migraines (needed to find out if there was a cause and the disease provides several).
Would you consider genetic testing so that you could focus on doing what you could do prevent the onset of the disease?
Would you be afraid of knowing your genetic info?
WHAT'S YOUR OPINION
I'm undecided. I would not want the info in any database that could possibly be used against me...but at the same time, I would like to know if there were things I could do to better my chances. At any rate, I think a healthy lifestyle is the best defense. But like most things, knowing you are facing a problem usually makes you more focused.