Frequently Asked Questions
What is Genetic Testing?
Genetic testing can be used to identify whether an individual is at risk of developing common hereditary diseases or conditions. This enables you to take control of your healthcare to detect, understand and manage any problems at an early stage, when they are most treatable.
What are the benefits of genetic testing?
Genetic testing provides your clinician with a level and depth of knowledge they can't get from any other individual test or scan.
Armed with this knowledge, you can work with your healthcare provider to create a personalised screening and prevention plan, designed to help reduce your risk of developing a disease or condition.
Genetic testing allows for:
- Earlier and more frequent screenings - For example, if you have an increased risk for breast cancer, your healthcare provider might recommend mammograms at an earlier age.
- Preventive measures - Your healthcare provider may suggest preventive measures, such as certain medications that can reduce your cancer risk.
- Proactive care for your family - As hereditary health disorders run in families, your results can help your loved ones understand their familial cancer risk.
Although a negative result doesn’t guarantee that you won’t develop any of these disorders in your lifetime, it can reduce unnecessary worrying and enable you to make informed decisions about your future healthcare.
In the event of a negative result, the patient will be contacted by IGP and informed accordingly.
The receipt of a positive result will result in the input of a Consultant who will interpret the result and inform / advise the patient of the most appropriate next steps.
Patients with a positive result can be referred into the NHS. This is often done via the consultant who will discuss the next steps for the individual with regard to screening and/or onward referral.
How does genetic testing work?
Through the analysis of your DNA, by using a sample of your saliva, it is possible to establish if you have any specific genetic mutations which are associated with an increased risk of developing conditions such as heart disease or certain forms of cancer.
How are genetic tests performed?
Before any samples are taken, patients must undergo compulsory pre-test counselling with a trained doctor to help them understand the implications of any result.
After the doctor has completed the consultation, the patient is sent the genetic testing kit via post.
The test is performed via a saliva sample that is collected by the patient in their own home. This is a non-invasive way to collect DNA samples for testing. The only stipulation is that patients are advised not to eat, drink or smoke for at least 30 minutes prior to taking their sample.
When the test sample has been collected, it needs to be posted to the Laboratory in the pre-paid envelope provided with the test kit.
The sample is then analysed; and tests results are sent directly to a trained clinician for interpretation, usually within 3 - 4 weeks of receipt of the sample at the laboratory.
How are the genetic test results delivered to the patient?
In the event of a negative result, the patient will be contacted by a clinician and informed accordingly.
The receipt of a positive result will result in the input of a consultant who will further interpret the result and advise the patient of the most appropriate next steps.
Patients with a positive result can be referred into the NHS. This may be done via the consultant who will discuss the next steps for the individual with regard to screening and/or onward referral.