Would you want to know your diseases?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by heehee, Sep 11, 2012.

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Would you have your DNA tested?

  1. Yes

    15 vote(s)
    78.9%
  2. No

    4 vote(s)
    21.1%
  1. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Location:
    Same country as Santa Claus
    #1
    Would you have your DNA tested for diseases? Cancer, tumour, Alzheimer’s?

    My dad had a brain tumour and we asked his Neurosurgeon if it's heredity. He told us we can have it tested, but he also warned us even if it's in our genes, there is nothing we can do to prevent it. I'm having this debate to see if I want to know. :confused:
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    I wouldn't want to know, but by the same token my wife does.

    Her family suffers from a kidney ailment that causes kidney failure - its completely hereditary and if you have the gene your kidneys will fail. She decided to be tested to see if she has this problem which she does not (thank God).
     
  3. SandboxGeneral Moderator

    SandboxGeneral

    Staff Member

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    #3
    That's a tough one, especially for those with families. Though I am single still, I am not sure if I would want to know or not. I'm leaning toward not knowing and just take it as it comes.
     
  4. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #4
    My wife wanted to know just for the sake of our girls. If she didn't have the gene that caused the disease, then our girlies would not get it. Thankfully she doesn't have it as I mentioned.
     
  5. heehee thread starter macrumors 68020

    heehee

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2006
    Location:
    Same country as Santa Claus
    #5
    My wife and I are planning to have children in the next couple of years, that's another thing to think about as well.
     
  6. shinji macrumors 65816

    shinji

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    #6
    I would. Always better to know than be blindsided. And it may be true there is nothing that can be done to prevent it today, but as medical technology progresses faster than it ever has before, there could be something you could do to prevent it in the future.

    Sorry to hear about your father. :(
     
  7. 0dev macrumors 68040

    0dev

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #7
    This is obviously an extremely personal thing but I would absolutely want to know. I like to plan my life to some degree and if it has an early expiry date I'd want to factor that in. Besides, ignorance isn't bliss, and if I had "the big C" I'd start getting bad headaches and all the rest of it before I go anyway, the only difference is I wouldn't have time to prepare for it.

    That's my take on things at least.
     
  8. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    Flea Bottom, King's Landing
    #8
    The results only gives you the odds of getting the disease. The stress from hearing my high chances of getting a stroke might trigger a stroke in me.:eek: I'd rather not get caught in a self-fulfilling prophecy. Maybe it's from forced to read WAAaaayyy to many Greek tragedies in school. Besides, I like surprises.:cool:
     
  9. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #9
    My girlfriend and I had a long talk about this last night, about diseases and problems that can run in families. There's nothing at all in my family, and hers don't get on well with smoking (but still do).

    But my uncle's (not blood related) father had Huntington's disease. Both my uncle and his sister got to their 50's and thought they dodged a bullet. But then his sister was diagnosed with it and he's having a couple of out-of-character moments. Which is worrying. He hasn't had any tests done to confirm it but just decided to live the best he could whilst he could.

    It's inspiring and scary.
     
  10. Daffodil macrumors 6502

    Daffodil

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    Location:
    In a sunny state of mind
    #10
    Huntington's is such a devastating disease, especially since it's untreatable. Yet if my family had a history of it, I would definitely rather get tested (and potentially find out my death sentence) than risk unwittingly passing it on to children. With other diseases where the certainty/risk is more complicated, I'm not as sure... Maybe try lifestyle modifications/being familiar with warning signs to reduce risk factors to the greatest extent possible, but possibly delay testing..?

    To the OP, I would definitely consider finding/talking to a genetic counselor who is well-versed in the issues surrounding genetic testing, and could help you make an informed decision.
     
  11. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    #11
    No, because I can be a bit of a hypochondriac sometimes, and for example, if I knew that I was going to get testicular cancer, I'd be worried that I had cancer every time my balls itch.
     
  12. Dagless macrumors Core

    Dagless

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Fighting to stay in the EU
    #12
    It's funny (in a way) that I never looked at it like that. He never had kids of his own, so I guess he might have known the risk.
    I can see why someone would not want to get checked out for that particular one. There's nothing you can do so, beyond knowing the warning signs and having the family prepared for it there's nothing you can really do.
     
  13. themp, Sep 12, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2012

    themp macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    #13
    This is such an important point for so many different reasons. First and foremost is insurance - in the US we're protected by the pre-existing condition rule for health insurance (for now) but this doesn't apply to long-term disability insurance or other forms of insurance. If you're getting tested for a potentially debilitating genetic disease, having long-term disability insurance is important, and you'll have to have it before you get tested and get the diagnosis. There are a ton of other considerations also - emotional, family (what if your kids, siblings, etc do not to be tested and by you getting tested, they may indirectly find out if they have the disease or are at risk), and so forth. Genetic counsellors are experts in this area and are an absolute must for anyone considering genetic testing. Hopefully there are no physicians or clinicians out there that would test someone without first having them see a genetic counsellor, but I'm sure these people exist in addition to the commercial/internet labs that would likely provide tests directly to patients.
     
  14. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #14
    As a rule, you can run, but you can't hide. Someday you will deal with it. The pro of knowing is that with early knowledge you might be able to do something about it. The con is that if it's likely fatal or extremely delibitating, you'll have just thrown away a few years of ignorant bliss. I tend to think the former is the best choice.
     
  15. 184550 Guest

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #15
    Yes, I like to have everything planned out.

    The more you know, the better you can prepare.
     

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