About one-third of Americans say they or a family member have considered getting a genetic test, according to a recent NPR-IBM Watson Health Poll. Critics say that these kits don't address thousands of other variants associated with the disease. Recent breaches of privacy by companies that collect information about people, such as Facebook, have underscored the risks of electronic data. Except for 23andMe, all of the companies still require a doctor's order to get this testing. But other genetic specialists, including James Evans, a professor of genetics and medicine at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, argue genetic testing is still in its infancy and that the results are often inconclusive and confusing. Genetic testing is still best done through doctors, he says, working with specially trained genetic counselors who can guide patients every step of the way. "Doctors who are contracted by companies are going to say, 'Do the test' no matter what, even if the test may not be indicated.". is just the Beginning! 23andMe Health and Ancestry DNA Test Kit — $99.00 (List Price $199) TellmeGen DNA Test Kit — $99.00 (List Price $139) Vitagene DNA Test Kit — $69.00 (List Price $99) They said they knew they couldn't rely on it, but they were curious to see the results. our easy-to-use cheek swab. Her first cousin died of breast cancer. "These are the types of things you really ought to consider when thinking about doing this kind of genetic testing — not whether there's a special on the testing this week," says Mark Rothstein, a professor of medicine and a bioethicist at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. It focuses on providing affordable and accurate information on the human genome. Genetic testing used to be uncommon and ordered only by doctors. It spent $27.9 million on advertising in the first quarter of 2018, according to the tracking firm Kantar Media. "Direct-to-consumer genetics companies are leading the way toward democratizing genetics and making it available to more and more people to learn about their risks and intervene in ways to keep themselves healthy," says Robert Green, a medical geneticist at Harvard. "The companies say they're strong. For women who discover they have one of the risky gene variants, the information could be crucial, according to Stacey Detweiller, a medical affairs associate and genetic counselor at 23andMe. All Rights Reserved. "I thought this is something I should know.". Women could still have one of the thousands of other mutations that increase the risk, or be at risk for other, nongenetic reasons. She paused in silence after she clicked to get the results. But some firms provide access to the genetic information they collect on an anonymous basis to drug companies and others to use for research. "I do not want to see that happen.". One problem is that patients can be easily overwhelmed when results are misleading or murky. She ordered a $200 testing kit from the company, 23andme, spit into a small plastic tube, sent it back and waited for the results. They will then analyze customers' genomes for any variations known to be associated with diseases. Monitor your progress, eat great food, and live well! "To be very blunt, I worry that women who undertake testing from 23andMe could believe that they do not carry a mutation when in fact they do, and as a consequence could die of breast or ovarian cancer," says Mary-Claire King, a University of Washington geneticist who helped identify the breast cancer genes. While the DNA test kit is a straightforward at-home cheek swab test, your blood test will instead be administered at one of InsideTracker’s over 2,000 top-notch lab partners across the United States. It tests for only three mutations in two genes known as BRCA1 and BRCA2 that can increase the risk for breast and ovarian cancer. But an increasing number of these companies will find a physician to sign off on that for customers. It offers several tests looking at genes associated with beauty, fitness, diet, behavior or even child development. Courtesy of Rita Steyn "I'm really nervous," she said as she read through the company's explanation of what her results do and do not mean. Still others analyze the entire genetic code, which is called whole genome sequencing, which may find additional clues to disease. It analyzes short pieces of DNA for genetic variations known as single nucleotide variations (SNPs) associated with specific diseases. And millions of people have gotten them, for a variety of reasons. Orig3n uses a swab test to collect a sample of DNA — it’s quick and easy. build your genetic profile. DNA reports also include explanations of our genetic analysis with actionable insights to consider with your physician which can be shared through the dietgene app. But that law does not protect against the use of genetic information in making decisions about other things, such as life and long-term care insurance.