Some medical providers offer expanded genetic carrier screening. Expanded carrier screening offers testing for many genetic conditions at one time. There are many viewpoints and ethical issues involved with expanded carrier screening, and like most things there are pros and cons.
Expanded carrier screening is available to all individuals, regardless of ethnicity, but your insurance may or may not cover this testing. Some of the conditions that expanded carrier screening looks for are severe, while others may be more mild, or not even have any significant medical concerns associated with it. Some of these conditions have available treatments, while others don’t.
There is also a very small chance that you could find out that you actually have a genetic condition, depending on the genetic conditions that are screened for.
Labs that offer expanded carrier screening may or may not be as thorough as labs that do not focus on expanded carrier screening. For example, if you have a family history of a specific condition, expanded carrier screening may not be the best test for you.
Whether or not to move forward with expanded carrier screening can be a complicated decision, and it is important to discuss it with a medical provider, such as a genetic counselor, to fully understand what the test is able to tell you.
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