WOULD YOU WANT TO KNOW?
"My father died last spring from Huntington's disease. My fathers sister and mother also had this disease, and my doctor told me that there is a gene test available that can tell me whether or not I will develop Huntington's disease. The thing is, I dont know if I want to know and Im worried about what my insurance company will do if they learn that I do carry the gene."
Genetic tests can determine how likely someone is to develop certain diseases (such as someone with a family history of breast cancer), or even whether or not they will develop it (such as Huntington's disease). Huntington's disease is a genetic disease that is caused by inheriting a change (mutation) in a certain gene that causes anyone who inherits this mutation to develop the condition. People in families with a history of Huntington's disease now have the option of learning whether or not they have inherited this gene mutation.
Because these tests are often performed on people who do not
have the disease themselves, there are a number of issues that are important to
discuss before testing is performed. A
genetic counselor is specifically trained to review the pros and
cons of the testing (such as the impact it may have
on a persons health insurance) and help each person come to a
decision that is best for him or her. This often means asking
questions such as whether or not the individual wants to know, what he or she might
do with the information, and how he or she might react to