Genetic testing for genetic disorders: Weigh benefits and risks

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Genetic testing: Weigh benefits and risks

Genetic testing can give you clues about your health risks.

Not long ago, genetic testing existed mainly in science fiction. Now, however, a variety of genetic tests may provide hints of your medical future.

Want to take advantage of the progress in genetic testing? First, take some time to consider the pros and cons of genetic testing in your particular situation.

Genetic testing may raise more questions than it answers. It can't tell you if you'll definitely develop breast cancer or when you'll start to notice symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Sometimes, genetic testing can alleviate anxiety — if, for example, you find out you have a below-average likelihood of developing some frightening disease. But if your risk of an unusual disease turns out to be slightly above average, you might worry needlessly.

Last Updated: 06/13/2008
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