Genetic screening is a medical test in which changes in our chromosomes, genes or proteins are identified, enabling doctors to confirm or rule out a suspected genetic condition. It enables us to look into the DNA instructions we inherited from our mother and father, and allows us to determine our chances of developing or passing a genetic disorder. Genetic screening is one of those advances in medicine that allow us to prevent certain diseases before they even come out or find cure to diseases at an early stage.
List of Pros of Genetic Screening
1. Early detection and prevention of disease
One of the many potential benefits of genetic screening is that individuals who were identified as carrying potential harmful genetic alterations can receive regular medical checkups to enable early detection of diseases like can cancer. This enables them to undergo preventive surgery, increasing their chances of survival.
2. Peace of mind
Meanwhile, individuals who are found NOT to carry harmful genetic disorder which is known to run in their family can have peace of mind in knowing that they are less likely to pass a genetic alteration to their children. In addition, since they will no longer require regular checkups, they can save on their financial resources spend it on something that will help improve their quality of life.
List of Cons of Genetic Screening
Knowledge can sometimes be a bane, and this is true in the case of individuals who are found positive for genetic alterations. A positive genetic test can result to increased level of anxiety and distress. A person may feel guilty for potentially passing a genetic disorder to their children. This may also cause an issue among those who wish to obtain health or life insurance.
2. Imprecise result
Genetic screening is not 100% accurate. The tests usually do not give precise answers about inherited diseases, especially about colon cancer and breast cancer. In addition, a positive result does not always mean that you will get a disease. The same is true for a negative result. So, it bears remembering that a genetic text can only tell you what “might” happen and not what “will” happen.
3. Unnecessary anxiety
Sometimes a genetic screening may be done even though the result can do so little to help the person being tested. In such a case, the test may create anxiety when its original intent was to provide relief. For this reason, it is important that you should know first how a genetic test could help you, and if it is worth the stress it can cause you.
4. Violation of privacy
This can be a risk factor in genetic screening, especially for those who are planning to get health or life insurance. Many people fear that companies could use the result to not hire or promote them and that insurers could use it to discriminate them from getting insurance.
Genetic screening does have pros and cons that are worth considering. Weigh these carefully before making a decision.