Pros and Cons of Genetic Counseling


Genetic counseling is still a relatively new practice in medicine. Helping to make patients more aware of both their genes and the potential affects their genes carry, genetic counseling is growing as an industry. If you are interested in the benefits of genetic counseling, then keep reading. Below are the pro and cons associated with this field.

The Pros of Genetic Counseling

1. An early warning system.
One of the greatest things about genetic counseling is that it can work as an early warning system for your later health. For example, if you are planning to have a child and you fear that you may carry a gene for a particularly challenging symptom that will develop in the child, then genetic counseling can inform you. Genetic counseling can make you and your spouse have a better idea of what the possible risks will be if you have a child. In this way, genetic counseling can save a great deal of heart-ache later in life. In addition to children, genetic counseling has been frequently used to see if certain individuals are predisposed to certain kinds of cancer. By getting a genetic counseling done early, you can know what your risks are, and increase your testing and preventative steps. With any luck, genetic counseling can help you stop a problem before it gets bets bigger.

2. Put your mind at ease.
If you are incredibly worried that you may have some kind of disorder later in life, getting tested and getting a negative result for the gene can help put your mind at ease.

The Cons of Genetic Counseing

1.Genetic testing does not tell you anything for certain.
Individuals who have genetic testing done for risk factors often leave with results that are not immediately apparent. For example, those who are testing for risk factors in relation to breast cancer can know if they are at an increased risk for this form of cancer. However, they will not know if they will or will not get breast cancer during their life. The information gained from genetic counseling will not always be direct, and can lead to worry, anxiety, depression, and fears.

2. Preventative actions are not always successful.
Not every preventative action is successful. For example, if you learn that you are at a particularly high risk for a form of organ specific cancer, removing that organ will not completely negate the risk that the cancer will develop. As genetic counseling is still evolving as a medical practice, there are still a great deal of things that need to be worked out.