Frequently asked Questions
What is genetic testing?
Genetic testing is a type of medical test that analyses DNA in order to identify changes or mutations in genes that may cause or increase the risk of certain health conditions.
What are some common reasons for undergoing genetic testing?
Some common reasons for undergoing genetic testing include testing for inherited genetic disorders, determining the risk of developing certain health conditions, identifying genetic factors that may affect response to certain medications.
How often should I have genetic testing?
Usually you don’t need to repeat a genetic test. Your genetic information generally doesn’t change over your lifetime.
What are the advantages of having a genetic test?
A positive result means you can take steps to manage your risk of developing a particular condition. You can make certain lifestyle changes to lower your risk, have regular screening and have preventative treatment. Knowing the result may reduce any stress and anxiety that comes from not knowing.
Are there any disadvantages of having a genetic test?
The results of some genetic tests are inconclusive. This means doctors may identify a variation in a gene, but not know what effect it may have.
A positive result may cause permanent anxiety. Some people would rather not know about their risk and only want to be told if they actually develop a particular condition.
At The London General Practice our Doctors prefer only to test for conditions where you can do other types of test to confirm a condition and where you can do something to treat it and/ or mitigate the risk of developing the condition.
What is the difference between diagnostic and presymptomatic genetic testing?
Diagnostic genetic testing is used to confirm a suspected diagnosis of a genetic disorder based on symptoms and family history, while presymptomatic genetic testing is used to identify genetic mutations that increase the risk of developing a disorder in the future, before symptoms appear.
What is carrier testing?
Carrier testing is a type of genetic test used to identify whether an individual carries a gene mutation for a genetic disorder, even if they do not have the disorder themselves.
Do you do whole genome or whole exome sequencing?
We don’t do whole genome or whole exome sequencing. At this point in the technologies development we are focussing on those areas where there is a strong base of clinical evidence that shows a relationship between a gene mutation and a specific disease. We also focus on those conditions which can be detected and there is a possibility of treatment of prevention.