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What are the benefits of genetic testing?

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Genetic testing has potential benefits whether the results are positive or negative for a gene mutation. Test results can provide a sense of relief from uncertainty and help people make informed decisions about managing their health care. For example, a negative result can eliminate the need for unnecessary checkups and screening tests in some cases. A positive result can direct a person toward available prevention, monitoring, and treatment options. Some test results can also help people make decisions about having children. Newborn screening can identify genetic disorders early in life so treatment can be started as early as possible.

For more information about the benefits of genetic testing:

The National Cancer Institute provides a brief discussion of the benefits of genetic testingThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference..

Additional information on this topic is available in the fact sheet Gene TestingThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. from the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.

Next: What are the risks and limitations of genetic testing?

Published: February 18, 2013