You may choose to
have genetic testing if you are concerned that you have an increased risk for
having or getting a disease that has a genetic cause. The information you
obtain from the tests may help you make decisions about your life. For example:
If tests show that you have an increased
risk for passing on a disease to your child, you may choose to have more
genetic testing while you are pregnant (prenatal testing). Or you may decide to
adopt a child.
If tests show that you have an increased risk
for developing a disease such as
breast cancer, you may make decisions that help lower
your risk of breastcancer.
You may feel reassured if the tests
You may decide to have a genetic test during pregnancy to
find out whether your
fetus has a disorder, such as
Down syndrome. Information obtained from the test can
help you decide how to manage your pregnancy.
Genetic testing can
be used to find out the identity of a child's father (paternity). It can also
be used in crime scene investigation.
What are the main types of genetic testing?
are six main types of genetic testing:
Carrier identification determines whether people who have a family history of a
specific disease or who are in a group that has an increased chance for that
disease are likely to pass on that disease to their children. Information
obtained from this type of testing can help guide a couple as they make
decisions about pregnancy.
Prenatal testing determines whether a
fetus has a disorder, such as Down syndrome.
Information gained from this type of testing can help guide decisions about how
to manage a pregnancy, including the decision about whether to end the
Late-onset disease testing determines whether
you carry a genetic change that increases your risk for developing a disease,
such as breastcancer or
Huntington's disease, later in life. This might be of
interest if you have a relative who has the disease. Information from
this type of testing can help you make decisions about preventing or managing
Genetic identification (DNA fingerprinting) can be
used to determine paternity, help solve crimes, and identify a body.
Compatibility testing looks at genetic markers to see if an organ for transplant is suitable for a person who needs it.