EMPOWERING WOMEN TO TAKE CONTROL OF THEIR HEALTH WITH GENETIC TESTING
Advancements in genetic science have opened new avenues for understanding and managing women’s health. Genetic testing offered by Baylor Genetics provides many benefits – it can help identify potential risks for common women’s health issues, including cancers such as breast and ovarian, and inform preventive measures.
This blog will explore how advanced genetic testing can help you empower your female patients to make more informed health decisions. You will develop a better understanding of:
- Scenarios that genetic testing is well suited for.
- Hereditary risks it can help identify.
- Testing options that are available to you and your patients,
- The impact it can have on making more informed and personalized healthcare choices.
IDENTIFYING RISKS AND ENABLING EARLY INTERVENTION
Cancer is a significant threat to women’s health worldwide. By utilizing Baylor Genetics’ hereditary cancer screening panels, individuals with a personal or family history of cancer can make informed decisions about family planning and their own health. These genetic tests help identify harmful mutations in genes such as BRCA1 and BRCA2, which increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s guidelines for genetic high-risk cancers provide a roadmap for regular screenings and risk-reduction recommendations based on current evidence. These guidelines also aid in insurance coverage of these preventative measures.
GUIDING FAMILY PLANNING WITH GENETIC SCREENING
Carrier screening is a type of genetic testing that can determine whether a person carries a gene variant (or mutation) for a particular genetic disorder. Even though carriers of a gene variant may not show any symptoms of the disorder, they can still pass it on to their children.
Additionally, carrier screening can provide invaluable information about carrier status for specific autosomal recessive conditions like cystic fibrosis or spinal muscular a . Helping an individual understand their carrier status can influence family planning decisions; if both parents are carriers for an autosomal recessive condition, there is a 25% chance for the pregnancy to be affected.
Baylor Genetics’ GeneAware™ includes screening for both autosomal recessive conditions and X-linked conditions. X-linked conditions refer to genetic disorders that are associated with gene mutations on the X chromosome and most commonly affect males. However, women can still be carriers of these conditions and pass them onto their offspring.
The test results can provide women with crucial insights into their genetic makeup and potential risk of passing conditions on to their children. Furthermore, it can be used to make informed decisions about family planning. At-risk carriers may choose to discuss with their healthcare provider or genetic counselor what that means for their potential children, and what steps they can take to manage this risk, including prenatal diagnosis, egg or sperm donation, preimplantation genetic testing, or adoption. Understanding risk can help families plan and prepare for the future.
THE EMOTIONAL BENEFIT OF GENETIC TESTING
Telehealth options provide the additional benefit of convenience and accessibility for connecting patients with clinicians and genetic counselors remotely right from their homes.
“Although the process of uncovering potentially life-altering information through genetic testing can be emotionally overwhelming, many women find relief, reduced anxiety, and empowerment from taking proactive control of their health,” said Sydney Lau, MS, CGC, Baylor Genetics. “It’s recommended that women undertake this journey alongside a healthcare provider, particularly a genetic counselor, who can help them navigate the meaning of their results and the next steps.”
Baylor Genetics’ genetic counselors are available to support healthcare providers and offer guidance on which tests to order, how to interpret results, and what the next steps should be considered.
HELP YOUR PATIENTS STAY INFORMED, STAY HEALTHY, & TAKE ACTION
At Baylor Genetics we encourage all women to seize the empowerment that comes from knowledge and take a proactive stance on their health.
Learn more about Baylor Genetics’ offerings and how we can work with you and your patients to provide a better understanding of their genetics and how it may impact their future: