Has anyone here ever gotten one of those home DNA tests?


JDTAY

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I was thinking it might be useful to be screened for all the genetic disorders. If I'm genetically predisposed to hypochondriasis, @Null can't fault me for it.
 

elw3

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Test: "There is a 1% chance you will die early"
Jdtay: "I will die any minute now!!!!!!"

Do you think its wise fore someone with hypochondria to get a list of possible problems?
I had hypochondria for a few years, more information made it worse. You could read a wikipedia article stating a certain illness has 10 cases in the whole world and the brain went "i am one of these, lets switch to panic mode".
 

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I was thinking it might be useful to be screened for all the genetic disorders. If I'm genetically predisposed to hypochondriasis, @Null can't fault me for it.
No screening is only usefull for diseases with a clear and curing treatment, all others will maybe offer a bit of prevention but will make your life as a hypochonder hell.

Also predispositions to ailments are a statistical given, and thus don't offer any prediction in the single case: example if you have a group of 10 bikers and there are 5 falling of their bikes every time, you can say for the whole group you have 50% chance of falling, but having this high chance still means you either are falling or not and you can't predict it. Same holds for these cases (with some differences in the details) but still 70% chance of cancer could still mean you won't get get cancer, however it will be perceived by most as 'I will get cancer'.
 
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TeDaDeS

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One of the advantages I read about those DNA test is not that you know you might have a increased risk of getting that illness (which is useful) but which medication has a higher likelihood of working for you.
So if there would be a system of being pro-active with tips regarding prevention and curing based on your specific DNA, that would be very nice.

Personally I think your DNA is really tied to your privacy, so I wouldn't opt to do such a test if it's in some public database if there wasn't a good reason to do so.
So there would be some hurdles for a company to take before a good database could be presented that could be used without worrying about your privacy.
 

Bosbeetle

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One of the advantages I read about those DNA test is not that you know you might have a increased risk of getting that illness (which is useful) but which medication has a higher likelihood of working for you.
So if there would be a system of being pro-active with tips regarding prevention and curing based on your specific DNA, that would be very nice.

Personally I think your DNA is really tied to your privacy, so I wouldn't opt to do such a test if it's in some public database if there wasn't a good reason to do so.
So there would be some hurdles for a company to take before a good database could be presented that could be used without worrying about your privacy.
The whole personalized medicine idea is very cool, however quite hard to maintain. I think we'll end up with a few types of medicine and not true personalized variants (keeping more then 10, types of medicine in production for a single disease is not easy) Also I would say it requires more than a single sequencing of somatic DNA to figure it out, in the case of cancer for instance you need to sequence the cancer preferably also it's epigenetic markers and copy numbers allelic duplications/deletions and so forth.
 

TeDaDeS

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The whole personalized medicine idea is very cool, however quite hard to maintain. I think we'll end up with a few types of medicine and not true personalized variants (keeping more then 10, types of medicine in production for a single disease is not easy) Also I would say it requires more than a single sequencing of somatic DNA to figure it out, in the case of cancer for instance you need to sequence the cancer preferably also it's epigenetic markers and copy numbers allelic duplications/deletions and so forth.
What I read wasn't that they customize the medication itself, but rather a selection of existing medication including dosage. So it would more be like skipping the line of investigations and get directly to the cure.
 

JDTAY

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Guys, I just asked my older sister if she ever had a DNA test. Turns out she got a professional medical one for herself and her son just a couple weeks ago, to try and determine what's causing his developmental delays.

She told me she had a CHEK2 mutation, which is generally bad news. This doesn't guarantee I have it, but if I do, I would be at higher risk for cancer. She mentioned breast and colon cancer, but apparently there have been links to prostate, lung, kidney, thyroid, and brain cancers as well.


You know, she probably didn't need a DNA test to tell her this though, considering both our mom and aunt died of breast cancer.
 

JDTAY

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Man, the DNA test I was looking at doesn't even check CHEK2. I wonder if I'll need a full test to see if I have it. I'll try shopping around other home DNA kits.

Edit: It seems a lot of sites used to offer DNA health screenings, but don't anymore. I wonder if there's a legal limit to what you can check without a doctor.
 
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levi

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Yeah, I think in the UK there's still a moratorium against testing companies reporting health concerns, because knowledge about what genes do and don't do is actually hella complicated because they only actually get activated in specific situations, and it's too soon to have gathered all of that information to be sure you can do anything other than statistical evaluation.
 

TeDaDeS

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She told me she had a CHEK2 mutation, which is generally bad news. This doesn't guarantee I have it, but if I do, I would be at higher risk for cancer. She mentioned breast and colon cancer, but apparently there have been links to prostate, lung, kidney, thyroid, and brain cancers as well.
Even without a DNA test you already know there is a high risk of cancer, it's like 2nd cause of death in United States / Europe.
I think even with that knowledge there isn't much you can do except changing your life-style to match, as as far as I know there isn't a easy way to test yourself at home for cancer.
So if you need to go to the doctor to get yourself tested, you probably are going to be surprised by it anyway.
 

Bosbeetle

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What I read wasn't that they customize the medication itself, but rather a selection of existing medication including dosage. So it would more be like skipping the line of investigations and get directly to the cure.
Yes but you can only get so much from a sequence, it would be better if you could test on tissue culture or organoids.
 

JDTAY

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Yeah, after reviewing everything, I think I'll just pass on the home DNA test, and maybe mention the CHEK2 thing to my doctor when I see them again in October.
 

levi

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Yeah, it should give you something to mention to mates at least. But I'd recommend reading the article posted by null near the top of this thread first. Your DNA sequence is about the most personal information you have, and giving it freely to a commercial company who will do almost anything to make money out of it doesn't strike me as very sensible practice even for a quick conversation starter.
 

JDTAY

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You know looking it up, CHEK2 isn't that bad for men. They say to start colonoscopies at age 40, which is only slightly earlier than usual. And for breast cancer, it could multiply the chance of male breast cancer by up to ten times, but that still leaves it low enough that men don't really need mammograms. I guess I don't even need to be tested for CHEK2 until 40 then.

The real problem is for the women who have it, since it doubles breast cancer chance in women, where it's already pretty high.
 
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