To know…Not to know…To know…Not to know…
That’s the question.
Fascinating new research now gives us at least some ability to discover our risks for certain diseases, conditions, tendencies…but do we really want to know.
Well, that depends…on your philosophy, your desire and willingness to be proactive (even if it means significant lifestyle changes,) and your tendency toward worry and anxiety.
The company 23andMe has been working on personal DNA testing for years, but now thanks to some funding and advancements information about current and future health concerns is affordable and accessible to all of us. (Currently $99)
Want to know if you’re at higher risk for Parkinson’s or Breast cancer? How gluten affects your body? Which medications you’re likely to have a bad reaction too?
What about your children? Do you want to know what their risks are or if you’re a carrier and what you’ve possibly passed down to your children?
23andMe also gives you recommendations and keeps you updated on new advancements. There’s also a really neat ancestry component that lets you find relatives you may not have known existed through DNA matching…Fascinating.
Also a bit scary and Orwellian to some.
It’s not perfect science and it’s definitely not comprehensive. It’s certainly no guarantee either. For many conditions, lifestyle plays a far greater role than does genetics, but…
Since I firmly fall into the “Knowledge is power” camp, I want to know as much as I possibly can about my health risks so that I can address them, monitor them and prepare for them as much as possible. Since I’m also a card-carrying member of the “Plagued by anxiety and worry” camp, I’ll have to deal with that part too.
Yes, genetic advancements may open the door for some disturbing and possibly dangerous possibilities. But the reality is genetic research and personal DNA is the future of medicine, so we might as well use it to our advantage to whatever extent we can.
My birthday is right around the corner…and you can bet that this is at the top of my list of gifts that I’m giving myself.
What about you? Do you want to know?