Genetic testing is a big market and a vast field of research. Taking small samples of tissues to analyse DNA is the way in which scientists go around doing genetic testing. Genetic testing can tell the person undergoing the test about a whole range of diseases they are predisposed to; genetic testing can be even carried out on babies.
The samples that can be sued for genetic testing are quite diverse. DNA can be extracted from a number of mediums including blood, bones or tissue. A genetic DNA test will also give an idea in terms of probability of the likelihood that one will develop that illness further on in life.
Genetic testing: Predisposition to illness
Many DNA testing companies now offer genetic health tests; this is a way for people to know more about their genes and the illnesses they carry. Knowing which illnesses you are predisposed to can, in some instances, help you take better control of your life by perhaps following a healthier diet or eliminating that which is known to precipitate the illness or increase the chances. This would clearly be the case with lung cancer; with lung cancer there is known to be a correlation between smoking and the diseases and that smokers are greatly increasing their chances of the illness. Knowing you have a high probability of developing the illness means to stop smoking if you do or avoid smoking or smoke ridden environments.
Genetic testing during pregnancy
Yes, it is possible to carry out a genetic test before a child is born. With procedures like amniocentesis or chorionic villus samples it is possible to take samples of tissue from the child and have a good idea of which genetic diseases it is predisposed to. In cases of a caesarian for example, amniocentesis can help to inform doctors of how well the baby’s lungs have developed and understand better the risks the caesarian may involve.
Family planning and genetic testing for predisposition to illness (genetic health test) can go hand in hand. For example, you may be aware that in your family you have a history of breast cancer- this is especially higher if you have it from both sides of the family because if the child inherits both copies of the gene the chances he or she may develop cancer increase- these are recessive genes.
Genetic testing is a broad field. The illnesses tested for can be in the region of 25 and more, depending on the laboratory and DNA testing company.