Make an informed decision
Understand the risks of genetic testing
Genetic testing provides many benefits, but there are limitations and expected outcomes to consider. While we can’t foretell the future, our genetic counselors are here to help you make the best informed decision. We'll help you understand the following.
Limitations in data accuracy
Genomic Inform™ is a clinical-grade, validated test performed in our CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited lab. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) technology is state-of-the-art and provides the most comprehensive analysis possible. However, no genetic test is 100% accurate or sensitive. There is a small chance of false positives (identifying a variant where one does not really exist) and/or false negatives (missing a variant where one exists), which may be influenced by the type of variant. When comparing different tests, it's important to consider their performance statistics.
Potential for emotional stress
It can be disturbing to find out that you carry a variant that is associated with increased disease risk. It can also be disturbing for family members who, by their shared genetic background, may also share that risk. It can be just as disturbing to receive an uncertain result. This may happen when a variant looks like it has the potential to increase disease risk, but there isn't enough scientific evidence yet available to conclude whether it is a truly harmful variant or just a benign change. It's very important to consider how you will address such results, and to discuss the potential impact of such results with family members, before undertaking genetic testing.
Potential for genetic discrimination
In the US, the federal Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) helps prevent health insurers and employers from discriminating against you based on test results. However, this act does not cover life, long-term care or disability insurance. Some states provide stronger protections, but each is different. Our genetic counselors take your privacy seriously, and will work with you to understand and minimize the potential for genetic discrimination.