Thursday, March 24, 2016

Why I will not take a genetic test

I attended a lunch talk in office today on genetic testing for preventive health care. It involves taking a test on your genes for any signs of mutations so that you will know what your health risks are. The health check that you go for every year tells you what your current health state is whereas a genetic test gives you an indication what diseases you may have in the future.

I was skeptical. Is this a fad or will this become a norm in time to come? I did a brief research on the Internet and found that more than 90% of search results are positive about it being the way to go in preventive healthcare. A few sites however aren't so enthusiastic about it, and as I read these, my skepticism was warranted.

Here are some reasons why I would not take a genetic test:
- It may affect my insurance coverage. With the knowledge of my full genetic makeup, would I need to provide them in full knowledge? The same goes for my employment and also any future employment opportunities, where I may need to sign a full disclosure. I may become jobless. 
- I may be so stressed up with a negative result that I will no longer have a fulfilling life even though I may not even have any diseases yet, or may not even have them at all. Not all indications will become a reality, and the test may or may not be accurate in the first place. 
- I may feel guilty if I am found to have a clean bill of health but not my family members who carry the mutations. 
- What would my life be if I know I am going to have a disease that is incurable?
- And even if it may be curable, how will I decide on drastic decisions like full mastectomies or for men, radical prostatectomy, the removal of healthy prostates
- There are also risks that my genetic information may be misused, like for research or patenting of genetic information without my consent or knowledge

So I'm happy not knowing how I may fall sick in the future. I'll continue with what I am doing right now, in taking my regular annual check-ups, eating healthy and in moderation. But what I need to do though is to get back to the gym!

Here are the links if you need more information:



  1. interesting.. didn't know got such a test also. but my views aren't the same as yours. If it's not that costly, I would consider taking it so that I know what risks of diseases I'm prone to and will try to maintain my health accordingly. Ya, I'm quite `kiasu' and `kiasi'. Can't really think of anything negative about it unless there is side effect to taking a genetic test!? (it's just my immediate thoughts after reading your post without reading up and researching like you did.)

  2. Yup, if you are comfortable with it, do go ahead but do some research and know what it will involve before you decide. People who sell this will obviously say how good and important this is but it has a price, other than the fact that it will be expensive.

    1. no la, i won't purposely go and do it but say if it lands at my door step - not that expensive and not troublesome, I won't be deterred from trying lor. But now I'm quite confident I can manage my health but who knows what happens in the future, leave it to God :)