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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

When my mother underwent chemotherapy, we spent a lot of time visiting the phlebotomy lab for blood testing. I was always impressed by how easily the phlebotomist was able to find and puncture a vein to draw blood on the first try. I knew there had to be a method to it, and was astounded by how effortless and painless they made the process. It led me to research a lot about blood tests, from drawing to the actual screening. I've created this site to share what I've learned in the hopes of teaching others. The more you understand, the more control you can have over your own health care.

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Testing, Testing 123: Phlebotomy Basics

3 Things to Do If Your DNA Test Indicates an Elevated Health Risk

by Francisco Arnold

Though DNA testing used to be relatively rare, more individuals are opting to undergo DNA testing for a variety of reasons. You may want to learn more about your lineage, connect with lost family members, or identify genetic markers that may indicate you're at a higher risk of suffering from certain health conditions.

If your DNA test indicates that you're more likely to develop a specific condition, you might be unsure as to what your next step should be. Here are a few things to do if your DNA test reveals you have a heightened risk of developing a certain illness.

1. Schedule an Appointment with Your Doctor 

Your DNA test will tell you what genes make up your body. It won't tell you how these genes will ultimately affect your health or if you should change your current plans for medical testing or procedures due to the presence of these genes. It's best to schedule an appointment with your doctor to determine what the results might mean for your health.

It's possible that your doctor might recommend additional testing or more frequent screenings based on the results of your test. Or, your doctor might advise that you make certain lifestyle changes that may help decrease your risk of suffering from a specific condition. Another option is to take a wait and see approach, especially if you're currently in good health. Your doctor can assist you with creating a plan that you're comfortable with.

2. Remember That the Test Isn't a Crystal Ball

A DNA test simply provides more information about the genes that you have; it doesn't definitively tell you whether or not you'll suffer from a specific disease in the future. It's important not to dwell on the results of your test or convince yourself that you're destined to suffer from a specific condition.

Genes only tell part of the story. Environmental factors and your lifestyle also play a significant role in preventing or hastening the development of specific conditions. You can't change your genes, but it is possible to lead a healthier lifestyle. 

3. Consider Additional Testing in the Future

DNA testing is constantly evolving. Your test only looks for known genes and gene variants. As tests become more sophisticated and researchers learn more about specific genes, it's possible that DNA testing will be able to identify more genetic markets in the future.

Don't take your results as a permanent indicator that you're free from genetic markers that indicate you have a higher risk of developing an illness. Instead, consider completing the test in the future if more mutations or genes are discovered. Knowledge is power, and it makes sense to know everything you can about your body.

Contact a DNA testing company for more information about this service.

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