Creating a Family Health History
Frequently Asked Questions
16. How do I know if I should get a genetic test?
You may want to ask your health care professional about genetic testing if you
- have a family history of a rare, inherited disease, such as cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia
- have a history of more common diseases, such as cancer or heart disease, that affect many relatives in several generations of your family
- have close relatives who developed common diseases earlier than normal
- come from a population group with a higher risk of a specific inherited disease.
Sometimes, genetic testing can detect risk for diseases that may be preventable or treatable. This type of testing is available for hundreds of conditions, including less common types of breast, ovarian, and colon cancer.