Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing
Navigating the unevenly regulated DTC genetic testing space can be a challenge, but what makes most health care providers really anxious is the patient who comes to them with results from genetic tests that the physician didn’t order, and asks what to do.
Why should I care about DTC genetic testing?
Dr. Cox is a concierge medicine physician who has seen an increasing number of his patients bringing results from genetic testing to him.
Adam M, a 60-year-old retired policeman and father of three girls, seemed to shrug off his 23andMe results that said he inherited a genetic variant for breast cancer, but latched onto another result that said that he was at increased risk of Azheimer’s disease.
Another patient, Kim J, told you she had begun taking vitamin E supplements since her genetic testing said she had a genetic variant associated with low levels of vitamin E. She had concerns because that same test said she was at increased risk of diabetes and asked you to check her blood sugar more regularly.
Dr. Cox wonders:
What health-related traits are covered in DTC genetic tests?
Which company’s genetic tests have clinical validity and which don’t?
How do I help my patient understand the limitations of DTC tests?
Should I be wary of companies that use raw data from 23andMe, Ancestry and other companies to produce health reports?
Learn about DTC genetic testing
Did you know that ~25% of consumers who undergo DTC genetic testing share those results with their health care provider? Are you prepared for that discussion?
If you are interested in learning more, check out our online course, DTC Genetic Testing, taught by Dr. Jeanette McCarthy, a genome scientist and leading educator in the field of precision medicine.
Explore the breadth of the DTC genetic testing landscape. Discover which tests are trustworthy and which are not. Review ways to keep your patients engaged while educating them about the limitations of some DTC tests.
Walk away with the confidence to have meaningful conversations with your patients about DTC genetic testing!