Angelina Jolie hit the news headlines in early 2013 by announcing her decision to go for elective double mastectomy after testing positive for mutated BRCA1. People from around the world suddenly came to know about ‘ Predictive Genetic Testing’. The impact was really big. A retrospective study performed at a Toronto hospital in 2014, for example, reported that the number of women referred for genetic counseling skyrocketed by 90 percent in the six months after Jolie’s announcement. The number of women at the hospital identified as BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation carriers during that period jumped by 110 percent.
Why Predictive Genetic Testing is important
“Error” in our genes (called “mutations”) can cause disease and predictive genetic tests help to confirm the disease probability in advance.
- Determine whether you would get Cancer or other chronic illness in future
- Determine whether your unborn child is prone to genetic disorders like Downs’Syndrome
- Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) can prevent a couple from having a sick child
- For couples who worry about passing along hereditary illnesses
- For children with diseases like autism, genetic testing can inform their pediatrician of specific contributing genetic factors influencing the severity of their illness.
- From infants to teens, parents can use genetic testing to confirm or rule out a suspected diagnosis
- Help in avoiding unnecessary clinical investigations
- Help in taking preventive measures to reduce the risk and severity of the disease in the future
Finally, Preventative care is the best solution for successfully treating or avoiding future illness
Predictive Genetic Testing ?