Genetic Testing From Pathway Genomic Is Useful for Several Purposes

Genetic testing from a company such as Pathway Genomic provides several useful functions. For example, people can learn whether they are at higher risk for certain diseases and may implement preventive measures on their own and with the help of medical professionals. Some individuals have prophylactic surgery to remove parts of the body that are at very high risk of developing cancer cells. Other people learn that they are at elevated risk for Type 2 diabetes and modify their behavior in an effort to maintain normal blood sugar naturally.

In some instances, genetic testing shows the devastating result that a person is certain to develop a condition such as Huntington’s disease or Alzheimer’s disease if he or she lives long enough. With a condition like Huntington’s, the gene markers are definitive: either the patient will develop the disease or will not.

Genetic Counseling

Because the results can be upsetting with any result indicating elevated risk or certainty of disease, experts in the field strongly recommend that patients receive a type of counseling known as genetic counseling before they have the test. Unless the results are negative for the disease they will be tested for, they will need to start making some tough decisions. The counselor can help them understand the advantages of genetic testing as well as the limitations.

Unwanted Results

For instance, knowing one will develop Huntington’s disease does not allow the person to take preventive measures, since there are none. Nevertheless, that knowledge can allow this person to make decisions about how to live out the coming years. Although the unwanted results can lead to anxiety, fear and depression, the person also may be able to embrace the time ahead while he or she is still well and live life fully.

The Other Side of the Coin

The other side of the coin is important as well. When the results show the individual is not at risk, this is a substantial relief and allows the chance to move forward with life and not constantly worry about one particular terrible illness. Yet there can be a downside too. The person may feel guilty if other family members test positive for the condition, which is another reason that genetic counseling is advisable.