Are you finding it hard to figure out why you have certain sensitivities, allergies, or health issues? Do you think your family’s medical history might make you more susceptible to certain diseases and illnesses? Does the idea of learning more about your genetic information sound interesting to you? If so, you might want to explore the realm of genetic testing.
Genetic testing is a new and innovative technology that looks for changes in your DNA that may cause illness or disease. It can inform the medical care that you and your family members receive.
Let’s discuss some common types of genetic tests and the role of genetic testing in predicting and preventing diseases.
Common Types of Genetic Tests
Genetic testing has many different forms – and no single test can detect all genetic conditions. The type of test an individual needs is based on their medical history, family history, and what condition they are being tested for. The three most common types of genetic tests are single-gene, panel, and large-scale testing.
Single gene testing. This test is performed when the doctor believes that there are changes or abnormalities in a single gene within the DNA. Single-gene testing is performed on those individuals who have symptoms associated with specific medical disorders or conditions.
Panel testing. This type of gene test looks for changes in a set of genes in one test. Typically, the panels are grouped into categories based on different kinds of medical concerns. Panel tests can also be grouped into genes that are all associated with a high risk for developing certain kinds of cancers like colorectal cancer or breast cancer.
Large-scale testing. Otherwise known as genomic testing, large-scale testing has two different kinds: exome sequencing and genome sequencing. Exome sequencing looks at genes (all or just a few) related to a medical condition. On the other hand, genome sequencing is the largest genetic test that looks at the entire DNA of an individual, not just genes.
Role of Genetic Testing in Predicting and Preventing Diseases
Genetic testing allows healthcare providers to rely on symptoms and physical examinations to make a diagnosis and provide definitive answers about a person’s health condition or suspected condition. Unlike many diagnostic tests, genetic testing can be performed quickly without making any incisions.
Genetic testing identifies an individual’s predisposition to certain conditions, allowing preventive measures and early interventions. For instance, if the genetic test finds someone at high risk for developing heart disease, they can make certain lifestyle changes to mitigate their risk of developing cardiovascular disorders.
It also explains how our genes work and intersect with our lifestyle and environment.
Another major benefit of genetic testing is that it assesses the risk of passing on hereditary conditions to children, allowing couples to make informed decisions about family planning and reproductive options.
Moreover, genetic testing allows healthcare professionals to create a more effective and individualized treatment plan. This is especially valuable for medications, as people can respond differently to medications and treatments based on their genetics.
Genetic Testing in New York City
Genetic testing holds immense potential for preventing and predicting health conditions that run-in families. As a powerful tool, it can guide healthcare decisions and empower individuals to take charge of their health.
If you are interested in genetic testing and want to know whether it is right for you, contact our internist, Dr. Tina Sindwani. Our board-certified internal medicine doctor performs a comprehensive assessment to determine an individual’s suitability for genetic testing. In addition to genetic testing services, our concierge medicine specialist also offers a wide range of concierge medicine services to men and women across New York City.
If you would like to learn more about genetic testing or want to schedule a consultation with our concierge medicine doctor, contact our office at (646) 820-7101 or fill out our online appointment request form.