Pros and Cons of Genetic Testing


While science and medicine keep on discovering things to help us better understand the role of genetic make-up in the human body and health, there are also tests being developed to help people know whether their genes are aligned with certain medical conditions or diseases. Now, people have been wondering whether they should consider themselves undergoing genetic testing. Well, to come up with a well-informed decision, it is important to understand what this procedure is all about and review the pros and cons that come with it.

List of Pros of Genetic Testing

1. It helps with early detection and prevention of illnesses.
One huge benefit of genetic testing is that a person who is identified to be carrying potentially harmful genetic alterations will receive medical check-ups on a regular basis to ensure early detection of diseases, such as cancer. This allows him/her to undergo preventive surgery, which increases his/her chances of survival.

2. It makes it easier to treat cancer.
As early detection of cancer is possible with genetic testing, we will have more courses of treatment available to the patients. Preventive medicine will be enhanced to offer people access to medications they need. It is even believed that this test can catch cancer before it will have the chance to form, which means that the disease can be beaten with minimal suffering and pain. Moreover, it will give patients a heads-up they need to schedule further tests, as this test might also show risk factors for other medical conditions.

3. It offers peace of mind.
For those who are not found to be carrying harmful genetic disorders, they will have peace of mind knowing that they will not be passing genetic alterations to their children. Also, they will no longer require regular check-ups, which means that they can save more money that they can spend to help improve their quality of life.

List of Cons of Genetic Testing

1. It would violate privacy.
This is one of the biggest risk factors in genetic testing, especially for people who are planning to take out life or health insurance. Many people believe that companies could use test results not to hire or promote employees and that insurers could also do it to discriminate people from acquiring insurance.

2. It causes unnecessary anxiety.
This test may sometimes be performed even though the results would not be truly useful for the subject. In such a situation, anxiety may arise in the person when its original purpose was to offer relief. With this in mind, it is very important to know first how the test could help you.

3. It can cause distress.
Knowledge can sometimes be bad, which is true in people who are found positive for genetic defects. It could result to an increased level of distress, where a person might feel guilty for potentially passing a genetic disorder to his/her children.

Genetic testing definitely does have its own set of pros and cons. You have to weigh these things down carefully before making a decision to undergo such procedure.