Advancements in healthcare technology give people many opportunities to better understand their health. Genetic screening uses the latest health-tech innovation to help doctors identify their patients’ hereditary risk for disease. You may be considering investing in a genetic test if you have a family history of cardiovascular disease or cancer. Or, perhaps, you are taking charge of your health and have a goal to focus on prevention. Genetic testing can give you the most complete picture of your health to inform your decisions.
Your genes are like a map of your unique picture of health. Doing a genetic screening can provide peace of mind, and give you the information to work closely with your care team to figure out next steps. To learn more about the various genetic panels offered at Hoag and the benefits, we talked with Dr. Lindberg.
Q: Is genetic testing safe?
A: Hoag’s lab technicians are highly skilled at collecting samples, keeping patients safe and comfortable. Depending on the type of genetic panel a patient chooses, a person will need to provide a sample once in their lifetime by cheek swab, saliva or blood. Just like any other health procedure, your health data is private and secure.
Q: What type of genetic panels does Hoag offer?
A: Hoag Executive Health and Hoag Concierge Medicine has teamed with the Hoag Precision Medicine team to offer two screening options for determining if a patient has any genetic risks that might be undetected. The first option is a “Proactive Health Gene Panel” which can identify over 60 clinically actionable cancer genes and over 75 genes associated with cardiovascular disease. The second option is “Whole Genome Sequencing,” which as the name implies, provides the greatest coverage identifying over 5,000 potentially disease-causing genes. There is an optional pharmacogenetic component that can be added to the Proactive Health Gene panel (which we highly recommend) to detect any unique drug-related risks or limitations to help individualize your treatment plan; this component is included in the Whole Genome Sequencing panel.
Q: What are the benefits of doing a genetic panel?
A: Many diseases have genetic predispositions which, if identified early, can lead to heightened surveillance and early detection. Both can help us better tailor preventive health programs by allowing us to target any risk that might be identified.
Q: What can someone expect if they do genetic testing at Hoag?
A: A care coordinator will keep patients informed throughout the genetic testing process. They will help schedule both a pre-test and post-test genetic counselor consultation. This ensures patients gain a complete understanding of the implications of their results. Additionally, a Hoag doctor will review the results with the patient to be sure that any actionable findings are integrated into a personal health plan.
Q: Where can a person go for more information about Hoag genetic testing, or to schedule their appointment?
A: People interested in one of Hoag’s genetic panel screenings should call 949-629-2600.