Genetic testing - Helpful, not meant to replace professional analysis

1 year 2 months 3 days ago Tuesday, May 14 2019 May 14, 2019 Tuesday, May 14, 2019 6:14:00 AM CDT May 14, 2019 in News
loading
COLUMBIA - 23andMe, a leader of at-home genetic testing, introduced the first over-the-counter breast cancer screening one year ago. Since then, there's been an ongoing debate about how useful the information from at-home tests is.
Fans of a home health test see it as a convenient, inexpensive way to give consumers direct access to information about their health history. For about $200, you're mailed a kit, spit into a vial, send it back to the company, then check online a few weeks later for results.
Critics say issues raised by over-the-counter genetic tests, like 23andMe, shouldn't be ignored.
Dr. Mark Vellek is a medical oncologist and hematologist at Missouri Cancer Associates. He warns against putting too much faith in over-the-counter tests.
"It doesn't test every patient correctly. And, you're missing a lot of other genes that could have an impact, they think, 'I'm negative, I don't have to do anything,'" Vellek said. "It gives them a false sense of security and really potentially put them in danger. It would miss a lot of the mutations we know about. There's more than 100 mutations for BRCA 1 and BRCA 2."
The Food and Drug Administration has cautioned consumers about over-the-counter genetic tests, warning, while they may provide some useful information, they are not meant to be a substitute for a comprehensive assessment from medical professionals.
Here is what you need to know about genetic testing if you're considering it.
DNA doesn't equal your destiny.
While a family history can contribute to the likelihood of you developing a disease, it's always caused by a mix of factors, including how healthy you are and the environment you live in. Your genetics is just one factor.
Medical professionals matter.
Tests your doctor order are far more comprehensive than those that can be bought over the counter. Doctors call for sequencing of entire genes and look for many variants that have been linked to a disease in question. 
Dr. Mark Vellek says, "one of the things that revolutionized (genetic testing) is insurance is paying for it more easily. So the maximum out of pocket is about $250."
By comparison, 23andMe is between $170-$200 for the health and ancestry information.
Consider privacy protection.
The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 prohibits employers or health insurance companies from using your genetic information to make decisions. But, that law does not apply to long-term-care insurance, disability insurance or life insurance. Your genetic information - like a risk of early-onset Alzheimer's, or breast cancer - can potentially be used against you.
So far, 23andMe is the only company to be FDA approved for its over-the-counter genetic health risk test. This means the FDA finds the 23andMe screening is accurate and easy for consumers to understand. Dr. Vellek pointed out, "FDA approved" does not mean "clinically useful." 
23andMe relies on much simpler technology than tests you'd get at the doctor's office and offers no genetic counseling to help you understand the results.
A doctor will usually refer you to a genetic counselor.

More News

Grid
List
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Schools announced the re-entry plan for the school year on its website Wednesday morning. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 10:42:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Governor Parson signed House Bill 1330 which granted the Heartland Port Authority 116 acres of state owned land.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 10:00:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
COLE COUNTY - The Cole County Commission is receiving threats after changing ambulance providers and purchasing ambulances from a... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 8:48:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
OSAGE BEACH - The Osage Beach Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-2 for the expansion of the local bar and... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 7:26:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA (Missourian) - Planned Parenthood and Spectrum Health Care in Columbia have joined a network that provides free or... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 7:22:21 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
O'FALLON (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said President Donald Trump is focused on and concerned about the possibility that... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 7:13:06 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Move-in day for many students is only a couple weeks away and some still haven't signed a lease... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 7:03:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- A Covid-19 vaccine developed by the biotechnology company Moderna in partnership with the National Institutes of Health has... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 6:59:12 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The same day that Missouri broke a record for new COVID-19 cases , Governor Parson said the... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 6:49:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
MEXICO - SSM Health, a catholic non-profit that owns St. Mary's Hospital in Mexico has signed a letter of intent... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 6:21:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was being treated for a possible infection and was expected to stay... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 6:03:37 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – The Washington D.C. NFL football team announced on Monday it will retire the teams name and logo. Washington... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 4:44:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Former Mizzou basketball player, Sophie Cunningham, tested positive for COVID-19 on June 18th. The WNBA player explains why... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 4:03:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – The Washington Redskins announced in a press release on Monday the team would be retiring its name and... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 4:00:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
TIPTON – While some schools may not know if the fall will have in-person classes. Some school districts are already... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 3:50:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA (Missourian) - A representative from consulting firm Cooperative Strategies laid out the next steps to the Columbia Board... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 3:27:57 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama - The SEC announced Tuesday the start of the soccer, cross county and volleyball seasons will be postponed... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 3:05:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
BOSTON (AP) — The Trump administration has rescinded a rule that would have required international students to transfer schools or... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 2:51:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 75°
9am 74°
10am 77°
11am 80°
12pm 82°