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What You Should Know About Genetic Screening

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You might have heard about hereditary diseases and how some of these diseases lower the quality of your life or lead to death. Genetic screening comprises of tests that are carried out to find out whether you have a gene that could cause a hereditary disease. Examples of these diseases include cystic fibrosis, Huntington's disease, sickle cell disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, arthritis, Klinefelter syndrome, Turner syndrome, etc. You can read on to learn more about genetic screening.

Best Age for Genetic Screening

Many medical specialists will tell you that the best age for genetic screening is between the ages of 18 and 30. This is the ideal age range because most gene mutations occur between ages 18 and 30. Also, the psychological impact of news that you might suffer from a life-threatening hereditary disease might be lesser after the age of 18 years.

What Happens After Genetic Screening?

If you are found to have genes that can cause a hereditary disease, the next step is carrying out a genetic test. This is a test that finds out whether you are currently suffering from the hereditary disease, maybe in its early stages. If not, you are advised on symptoms to look out for and what to do to prolong your quality of life, avoid triggering the disease, manage the disease and prevent death.

High-Risk Individuals

Everyone should undergo genetic screening; particularly those whose family history is associated with the diseases mentioned above. That is, if you know you have a parent, grandparent, uncle, aunt, niece or nephew who is suffering from the diseases mentioned above, you are a high-risk individual and should go for genetic screening.

The earlier the hereditary genes are found, the better. Most of these diseases have no cure, and the earlier they are caught, the higher the chances you can slow them down. Additionally, you require advice on how to manage and live with the disease in a manner that does not affect your quality of life.

Genetic Screening and Pregnancy

It is wise to go for genetic screening before getting pregnant so that you can be advised accordingly by specialists. You are mainly trying to see if you can pass on a particular gene to your child. If you did not go for genetic screening before getting pregnant, genetic screening can be done on an unborn child, but it is wise to avoid risking a miscarriage. Wait until your child is born and of age to have them get tested.