Sunday, June 28, 2015

Just because we can doesn't mean we want to

Genetic testing is all the rage now. I mean we have movie stars and news casters who are public with their cancer diagnosis and genetic test results. But not every one is not a fan of them.A recent study found that just because patients could have genetic testing, they didn't necessarily want it.

"The study found that of the 49 patient participants, all of whom have a family or personal history that puts them at-risk for development breast and other forms of cancer, more than one-third declined multiplex testing.

I am on their team. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was told that for people who had both thyroid and breast cancer it was recommended that they get genetic testing for Cowden's syndrome. I basically went along with what they wanted and had the test. Then I thought about, well what the hell would I do with that information? My doctors told me if I had it, I would receive more screening than if I didn't.

Really? More screening? Is there more screening that I could have? I have had cancer twice and RA, fibromylagia, and my back. I see doctors all the time. I have had 25 appointments in the past six months plus five separate trips for blood work. These include CT scans, x-rays, eye doctor, dentist, specialists, and more. I don't think I can fit in much more into my schedule.

I am in the group of people who say just because we can do something, doesn't mean we have to or want to. For example, nowadays they microchip all our cats and dogs. So in theory we could probably microchip people. No one is every microchipping me. But I could clearly see this happening in a science fiction novel. Just because we can buy a new car every year, and some people do get a new car every couple of years, doesn't mean I see any need or want to. 
Plastic surgeons tell us that they can fix wrinkles and aging. I'm fine with the way I look. I don't want any more surgeries. Or to color my hair to hide the incoming grays. At least I have hair and I'm still here.

Genetic testing is possible and the science part of the world is all over it. But not every one wants it. They prefer to go through life with the crap shoot that comes along with it. I don't need a crystal ball in my life. It makes life more interesting to say the least.


linda said...
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linda said...

I understand, Caroline. I just learned that triple negative BC might be hereditary and if I find out mine is, my son can let his docs know so everyone can be more vigilant about watching out for it in him. Men don't get mammograms, so without that information, he might go unprotected. Otherwise, I agree with you, what would I do with that information? I suppose I'd tell my sisters and brother so they can be more vigilant about their health. I've started writing again and found your compassionate comments, so I followed them to your blog. How are you? linda

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