Sunday, March 15, 2015

Save Thousands: Home Gene Test Warning

Now that scientists have mapped the human genome, there's no doubt that genetics based medicine is the wave of the future in healthcare. Techniques now under development promise astounding breakthroughs in the fight against all kinds of diseases, including killers like cancer, Alzheimer's and heart disease.
Money hungry companies are taking advantage of the credible promise of genetic testing to make money from you. These companies are springing up like wildfire offering to sell you at home genetic tests at costs that range up to thousands of dollars each. The tests are designed so the accompanying marketing campaigns claim to allow you to assess your risk of various diseases in the privacy of your own home, without the need for a doctor.
Many critics say the tests are a waste of money that prey on people's fears. Many of the tests may do more than set you back a few paychecks, they may put your health in danger. Many of these kits are being sold by less than reputable businesses, not even affiliated with the healthcare field, over the internet. Many people have fallen for sales pitches similar to "Take this test now to see if your body is a risk for breast or lung cancer so you can take steps to save your life later." These tests are far from cheap. Prices range from $300 to $3000 and sometimes even more. If you want to test for more than one disease, the cost can rack up to more than $11,000. Keep in mind, these are not medical companies, your insurance company will not reimburse you for these tests. All funds are out of YOUR pocket.
Many doctors state that these tests, whether accurate or not can get you into trouble. Several women have taken these tests and shown they don't have a genetic mutation and have chosen to forego regular mammograms and other breast examinations. Same goes with many men in regards to prostate cancers. Smokers have not been immune to this test either when told they do not have the genetic marker for lung cancer and believe they can still smoke a pack of cigarettes a day without any ill effects. Nothing could be further from the truth. For example, lung cancer is caused by multiple factors and not just one defective gene. By living recklessly, you can set yourself up for the disease as well as other health problems. In addition to those playing Russian Roulette, there have been others that have taken drastic steps to avoid impending health issues. A few women who have tested positive for the genetic mutation for breast cancer have been compelled to take steps to avoid the disease to the point that they have asked doctors to go ahead and remove their breasts before cancer has a chance to develop.
There is no federal law to guarantee the quality of these tests, so the consumer is on their own in a sea of greedy sharks. Genetic testing may save your life but it must be done by a reputable firm with qualified medical specialists to ensure the accuracy of the test and the correct interpretation of the results. Don't let feat of disease lead you down this expensive path. Gene testing is still in it's infancy stages and you need expert counseling to benefit from what it has to offer.

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