With the advancement in medical technology, it is now possible to screen early for hereditary health disorders in ensuring prevention and targeted care for illnesses that may follow you from one generation to another.
Despite leading a healthy lifestyle, sometimes we may end up inheriting certain illnesses. Often, we only know about the health disorder when the symptoms start manifesting, or when it is too late. The good news is that with the advancements in the medical field nowadays, there are ways to quickly detect these potential illnesses and find ways to address the matter as early as possible.
Genetic testing is a way providing answers to potential health disorders you may inherit. Popularly known as DNA testing, genetic testing helps an individual know his or her family’s genetic make-up from their deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecules. Such tests also help couples desiring children as well, as the DNA molecule carries the genetic instruction for the reproduction, development and function apparatus of the human body.
According to the American Medical Association (AMA), there are currently over 2000 types of genetic tests available to aid in the diagnosis and therapy for over 1000 different diseases. Genetic testing helps by:
Genetic testing is conducted by taking samples from a person’s blood, saliva, hair, skin, cells (from within the mouth), fluid (from around a developing foetus) and tumours. Utilising these mentioned samples, several types of genetic testing /screenings can be undertaken. According to the US National Library of Medicine, such tests /screenings consist of:
Forensic & Paternal Testing
Technology in the field of medicine has made strides in many areas, more so in the specialised field of genetics. While not related to the health aspect of individuals, genetic testing is also used for forensic and paternal purposes. This can assist in establishing biological relationships between people. The marvel of human ingenuity in endeavouring to achieve greater heights couldn’t be more apparent than in this particular field. One day, it would be possible to correct abnormalities, disorders and defects a person or infant might have. And with that achievement, the eradication of diseases too will come.
However, the cost of genetic testing can be prohibitive, but it is best to discuss with the doctor first. The cost depends on the screening on the number of conditions. Still, DNA testing is gaining traction not just for inherited disorders, but also among health conscious individuals who want to extend their lives and live healthily.
One day, preventative care will be customised to one’s healthcare needs. The future of good health and longevity is around the corner. DNA testing is just the beginning.