Genetic testing – why is this important?
As part of the comprehensive exam at Hadassah Medical, you will be able to undergo genetic counseling and genetic surveillance. What is genetic testing? Whom is it intended for? Should you consider it?
Over the course of the examination at Hadassah Medical, genetic testing is sometimes necessary to get a more comprehensive and accurate picture of your health and risk factors. Sometimes this happens after filling out a questionnaire in which you are asked to indicate your family medical history, including hereditary disorders.
Adva Kimchi-Sheal, Department of Genetics and Metabolic Diseases, Hadassah Medical: “If in the course of examination, we find out that the patient themselves or their family members have hereditary diseases (for example, cancer or heart disease), we immediately suggest to consider genetic counseling. I’m referring to genetic tests intended for all people (even perfectly healthy) and giving a far more true and fair view of what is happening. Thanks to these tests, a patient, in a certain sense, is able to better control their health and future.
Genetic sequencing allows us to determine the best observation and treatment plan for each patient (for example, after early cancer detection), and it saves lives. In addition, patients can change their lifestyle to increase control over the identified risk factors, and thereby minimize their impact. The results of genetic testing can provide useful information when planning for future children”.
Adva Kimchi-Sheal from Department of Genetics and Metabolic Diseases, Hadassah Medical , provides genetic counseling and support services to Hadassah Medical clients who visit her for examination.
What happens during a genetic consultation?
“The consultation lasts about an hour. I ask the patient about their medical history and take a detailed family history (a record of health information about a person’s immediate and extended family). I draw a “family tree” and ask about all the brothers, uncles, cousins, grandfathers. I look at their medical record and make a computerized risk assessment, after that I recommend appropriate tests. The purpose of such a preliminary consultation is to detect genetic risk factors and decide, together with the patient, what steps to take in this regard, what alternatives are available and what suits them best.
Of course, after genetic testing we continue to supervise the patient, helping them interpret and understand the test results and what their results say regarding them and their family members. Together with the physician conducting the examination, we decide which observation is appropriate for this patient.”
Genetic testing services are provided at the Hadassah Medical in Beit Gibor Sport, Ramat Gan.