Genetics And Our Health
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Genetics And Our Health


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You’ve heard the phrase an apple doesn’t
fall far from the tree, meaning your
reflection of your parents and your
children are a reflection of you but, it
goes much deeper than that to genetics
and the role they play in your health. This morning we’re examining how
simple lab tests can help improve our
health returning to the show once again
is Dr. Jay Wohlgemuth from Quest
Diagnostics Incorporated! Good morning,
welcome back! Thanks Olga, so glad to be back! Alright
so the last time we got together we
talked about the importance of blood
work and our health, they both go hand in
hand. Absolutely, in summary really
it’s about proactive health care,knowing
what’s going on before it becomes a
major problem so you can intervene and
get better or prevent problems from
occurring in the future. So today let’s
take it a step further Dr. Jay, genetic
testing how important is that? It has become
incredibly important in today’s world. You
may remember 15 years ago we
sequenced the human genome. That was
fascinating. fascinating stuff but, it cost
us three billion dollars and several
years to do but these days with the
technology we’re now able to generate genetic
data on you and on your cancer,determine
your risk of disease and determine if you
have a genetic disease, and even
determine what therapies may or may not work in
you. So
really important information we can get
now from genetic testing! So how
do we determine if we need a genetic
test? I’m
assuming family history is huge. Family
history is a huge driver such as in
Angelina Jolie case. Perfect
example, right? Strong family history of
breast cancer in that case she had
brachia genes tested which determine whether
you have a very high risk of breast
cancer in their lifetime. And with that
information she and others can really
prevent breast cancer from occurring. So that’s
one area, prevention of disease. The
other would be you have symptoms you
have a problem and maybe you have a
genetic disease and therefore testing
would be indicated to figure it out. And
then finally like we talked about the
use of genetic testing to determine
what therapies may or may not work in
you is another you know really
important area. And when it comes to quest
Diagnostics, what genetic testings do you
have available? Well we offer
thousands of tests but increasing
a lot of those are genetic tests. We do
testing for prenatal testing. I
did that. Okay! The genetic testing in
women to determine prenatal risk, we do
cancer based testing to determine what
therapies will work in a cancer patient. We also do genetic testing to
determine risk of breast cancer and other
cancers in the future, and then finally
that genetic testing we talked about
around diagnosing a disease or even a
rare disease to determine what really
is going on in this patient. And I
was thinking of rare disease now
because we have a series called Behind The
Mystery and we’re very proud of it and
we spotlight a lot of rare diseases
out there that people are unaware
of. Assuming with this kind of
testing it could really help so many people
that are misdiagnosed and have no
answers. This is such an important area
really important we call the diagnostic
Odyssey. You have patients and one of
them that I’ve seen was a girl who went
for ten years to nine or ten different
medical centers. Misdiagnosed every
time? No diagnosis but
major health problems, and her family
spent a million dollars trying to get to
the bottom of it. And then it
turns out she ended up getting a
genetic test ten years later. And she finds
she found out that she has a genetic
disease the question was resolved and there
was a treatment for her problem in
that case. So much time, so much money and
time, money, frustration, uncertainty so in
that case it’s really valuable to get
genetic testing. Speaking of money,
genetic testing is becoming more
affordable today? Absolutely it’s not three
billion dollars anymore that’s for sure! That’s a big difference! Right,
so over the last fifteen years the technologies
improved greatly so it’s much more
affordable than it was previously and now
we’re able to offer genetics to the
community and in an affordable way. And
how is genetic testing done? Let’s say
somebody says I’m going to do it. Well
usually what would happen is your your
physician would talk with you about the
genetic testing and often a genetic
counselor would get involved to help you
and the doctor determine what testing is
needed and what you’re going to do with
the information, but then once
you’ve determined that it’s as simple
as a blood test or a saliva sample
which you then send into the laboratory
and we do the genetic testing, the results
come back and the doctor and genetic
counselor help you understand you know
what to do with the information. And
ultimately maybe save your life and
maybe even your children’s in the future. Hopefully so, absolutely. Thank
you so much, great stuff Appreciate your time. You’re
coming back next time to talk about
personalized medicine. I’ll be
back! Excellent, thank you Dr.
Wohlgemuth and if you’d like to learn more about this
and genetic testing you can go to
the website its very easy,
questdiagnostics.com/patients again do that /patients. It’ll get you right there or
just go to our website thebalancingact.com
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