Genetic testing can offer major insight into your health background

Reporter: Amy Oshier Writer: Nicholas Karsen
Published: Updated:

Genetic testing helps researchers determine whether you have a genetic condition and can help figure out the chances of developing or passing on deadly diseases.

However, the tests are very expensive, pricing out many people who need to check for potential conditions.

Researchers can uncover a great deal of information about a person’s background through a simple blood draw or a saliva sample, providing opportunities for prevention and improving treatment outcomes.

Genetic counselors at Lee Health sample DNA to look for a variety of inherited cancers, helping people at risk and those who are already at risk avoid potential diseases.

“Anyone who carries that gene has a high risk of developing that cancer. It may not show up until later in life, but it’s good to know because then you’ve been watched all these years,” said Clinical Nurse Specialist at Lee Health Mary Ann Orlang.

Usually, testing is based on known risk, meaning a family member has already been diagnosed.

The next step is screening, which can cost around $250 out of pocket, as insurance carriers normally refuse to cover it.

Many health providers, including Lee Health, offer financial options for patients.

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