The FDA has approved a direct-to-consumer DNA self-test for breast cancer mutations. Is this test worthwhile, and is it right for you? A breast specialist weighs in.
Genetic testing technology is always evolving, and one newer kind of test — that identifies inherited genetic mutations linked to increased risk for colon cancer — may find genetic changes previously missed by earlier methods.
Most people don’t think about the red blood cells that are hard at work in their bodies every day. But pregnant women need to be aware of the hereditary illness called sickle cell disease. Sickle cell disease (SCD) affects the hemoglobin protein of red blood cells. Healthy red blood cells have a round shape and … Read More
Your genes contain powerful information. To the trained eye, they hold the keys to your future health and your risk of disease. But the power of genetics also comes with anxiety, especially when it comes to legal and insurance questions. Patients want to know what genetic information means, who can use it and — frankly … Read More
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It’s dizzying to consider how genetic testing could change our approach to managing our health, making it possible to focus effort based on risk, before a disease even develops. But it also raises complex questions about privacy. You might wonder whether the information that comes to light could raise your insurance premiums or affect an employer’s decision … Read More
Pinpointing genetic causes for heart disease is a complex and dynamic process that changes rapidly as new discoveries are made. There are a few important things to keep in mind if you want to explore your family’s genetic risk for certain heart disorders. Checking for risk factors and genes While the genetics of many … Read More
Each year, there are changes in healthcare worth noting. As we look back at 2013, here are 10 important health highlights for women that include advancements, greater knowledge and new warnings as well. 1. Hot flash treatment The first non-hormonal therapy — Brisdelle™ (paroxetine 7.5mg) orally at night — was FDA-approved for the treatment of hot flashes associated with menopause. … Read More
“Patients in waiting.” It’s a term we in the world of genetics hear from time to time. The idea is that for certain conditions where there is no cure — or where it may be years before a patient shows symptoms — genetic testing can cause anxiety without providing steps for care. I don’t believe … Read More
With 230,000-plus new cases of breast cancer per year in the United States, there is a good chance someone in your family has been affected by this disease. As we learn more about the genetics involved, we know more about the role of family history — and how to diagnose and treat patients based on … Read More
As a geneticist and researcher, I believe in the power of genetic testing. By identifying genetic mutations, we can improve care and save lives. But just because we can test something doesn’t always mean we should. Take the MTHFR gene, for example. MTHFR codes for an enzyme that helps your body convert homocysteine into an … Read More