Myth to Fact — 6 minutes
After completing a genetic test (genetic assay, genetic analysis), I’ll know everything about my health!
It's a myth!
Genetics play an important role in your health, that is undeniable: your genes give your body the necessary instructions to ensure your development and maintain its various functions. However, we also know today, thanks to advances in science, that our lifestyles and our environment are changing the way our genes function. So although it is true that a number of diseases have a genetic root, for many, there are external factors that determine whether these diseases manifest or not.
Most of the tests we currently have only evaluate if a disease-related gene is present or not, and we still do not fully understand the possible interactions between genes: for example, can the function of a gene promoting the risk of a disease be modified by the presence or not of another gene?
Furthermore, while technology currently allows us to read a person’s entire genome (genetic code), our knowledge does not allow us to understand or interpret much of this information.
So it’s illusory to think that you can know everything about your health after one genetic analysis.
It is also important to note that not all genetic tests are equal: they must be undertaken using the right technology, the right laboratory, what genes are to be tested, etc. There is also the fact that certain laboratories offer incomplete analyses: a “negative” result (no mutation identified) can in fact be a false negative. To help you make an informed decision when selecting a genetic test, it is best to discuss it with an expert.