are many devastating diseases that are linked to or caused by genes.
Cystic Fibrosis for instance is a fatal disease that results when
a mother and father each pass the gene for cystic fibrosis to their
child. Other diseases, like breast cancer, also have genetic links.
The presence of the gene or genes does not mean you have
the disease, but it could put you at higher risk for developing
testing is an extremely powerful new medical tool that can diagnose
and predict these gene-related diseases. For example, if a doctor
suspects a patient has , a genetic test can confirm the diagnosis so the proper
treatment can begin.
power provided by gene testing must be used very carefully and be
supported by genetic counseling. Counselors help patients and their
families fully understand the consequences of their test results
and the difficult decisions that follow. Counselors help patients
understand that carrying the gene for a disease does not mean they
have the disease, and they guide patients through their medical
options. For example, if a woman tests positive for the breast cancer
gene, she has options ranging from the radical (having her breasts
removed in order to prevent any possibility of developing the disease)
to adopting a "wait and see" attitude.
gene tests available as of 1998 from clinical genetics laboratories
approved by New York State. More
you have the right genes for the job? Employers could use genetic
testing to find out.
testing is a powerful tool that currently can reveal important information
about an individual's health. But... More
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implications of genetic information