The National Genome Research Institute describes genetic testing as a clinical tool that “can be performed to confirm a suspected diagnosis, to predict the possibility of future illness, to detect the presence of a carrier state in unaffected individuals (whose children may be at risk), and to predict response to therapy.”
As science advances and we enter into the era of personalized medicine with preventive care and treatment predominantly based on each person’s genetic makeup, it is important to know about the process of genetic testing and those interpreting that information. Through obtaining and understanding a personal genetic profile, individuals could potentially have the insight to their own predisposition to disease thus giving them an opportunity to prevent it. The presence or absence of genetic markers for some diseases can help people make informed decisions about prevention or treatment.
Our May Girl Talk on Health featured guest speaker Cristi Radford, certified genetic counselor at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, and addressed genetics and its link to breast cancer. Among the points discussed was the difference between genetic counseling and genetic testing.