Fact or Fiction?

By troy Moore on January 15th, 2016

Whenever there is a new trend, concept or advancement, lots of differing opinions and ideas emerge. And with this, comes a lot of misconceptions and distorted theories. As genetic testing advances, more questions are raised and it can be challenging to know what is fact versus fiction.

Check out these common misconceptions and uncover the truth behind each one:

Misconception

Genetic testing will diagnose me with what diseases I’ll have in the future.


REALITY: Genetic testing is not a diagnosis

Just because a genetic test may indicate that you have a higher likelihood of developing a medical condition doesn’t mean it will actually happen. Genetic testing tells you whether your body is more or less prone to certain diseases, but it should not be confused with a diagnosis. You should speak to a genetic counselor and your physician about your results before taking any action.


Misconception

I won’t be able to understand my results because they are complicated to interpret and read.


REALITY: Results are given in easy-to-read terms

Genetic testing results are put into an approachable, easy-to-read format to save you the hassle of trying to decode scientific terms and phrases. In addition, your doctor will also receive a copy of your results and can help you answer any questions you may have. Genetic counselors can also help you better understand the meaning of your results should you still have questions.


Misconception

Genetic testing is expensive.


REALITY: Genetic testing is More affordable than ever

While it is true that genetic testing USED to be very expensive, it is now more affordable and accessible than ever before. The cost of genetic testing has dropped dramatically in the past several years from thousands of dollars to merely several hundred, and the tests available have become more advanced.


Misconception

All genetic mutations are bad or harmful.


REALITY: Variations help determine what’s best for you

Everybody’s genetic makeup is different and each person carries variations within their genes. Genetic tests, such as those from Kailos, often look at mutations in the gene that affect how a drug is metabolized, or used by the body. You might metabolize a drug very quickly or too slowly based upon your genes. Genetic testing can help your physician prescribe the most effective medicine for you. The mutation doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong with you – it just helps determine what is best for you.


Misconception

Genetic tests aren’t accurate.


REALITY: Genetic Tests can be 99.5% accurate

Genetic tests are remarkably accurate if they are conducted by specialized labs that have received appropriate certifications. In fact, most tests are 99.5% accurate. However, whether the test is truly useful can be another story. For example, there are tests that claim to reveal the best diet or sports activity for your genetic makeup. These pseudoscientific tests may be accurately performed, but there is no proof that the information they provide is truly applicable.

There is still much to learn about the human genome and its relation to specific health issues. However, the tests that are already available provide very useful information that not only improves health, but also saves lives. It will be exciting to see future uses for genetic testing.