HomeFamily5 Factors to Consider When Buying a DNA Kit
November 13, 2018
5 Factors to Consider When Buying a DNA Kit
Ancestry testing through home-testing DNA kits has become extremely popular over the last decade. The tests can give you a variety of information, such as where your family’s DNA originated, ancestors’ names, and what percentage of a certain race you are. Some individuals buy these tests for fun; however, since the cost of some of the most popular DNA testing brands can exceed $200, there are a few factors you may want to consider before you spend your money. Here are 5 Factors to Consider When Buying a DNA Kit:
1. What Are Getting for Your Money?
Before you buy a DNA ancestry kit, it is important that you understand its limitations and what information it can give you. For example, while you might be able to find out where your ancestors hailed from five generations ago, details about their lives will probably not be available. Consider exactly what you want to know and read up on different kits before you make a final choice so you get the most for your money.
2. Are You Prepared for Any Surprises?
DNA kits have dug a number of skeletons out of the closet since their popularity has risen, especially when it comes to the question of paternity. While this might be useful if you were adopted or were a foster child when you were young, you may inadvertently dig up some dirt on your great-grandparents or even further back. These discoveries can cause quite an upheaval in your family, so you might want to consider if you are prepared for this possibility.
3. Are You Concerned About Genetic Disease?
Some DNA kits can test for certain genetic predispositions, such as breast cancer risk. This can be quite helpful if you do not have access to your family’s medical history and want to know which screenings you discuss with your doctor. Keep in mind, however, that some kits do not offer the genetic interpretation tools for free and that you may have to pay extra for this service.
While in-depth genetic testing can be helpful when it comes to filling in the blanks in your medical history, it can also raise additional questions, especially if you receive information that is not complete. For example, you might discover that a relative died of a genetic disorder, but if the historical records are not complete, you may be left wondering about the specifics and if the disease in question is curable today.
4. Can You Afford a Follow-Up With a Specialist?
If you do find out medical information that concerns you, a follow-up visit with a specialist can put your mind at ease about your risk factors and current health. However, since most insurance companies require authorization from your primary care physician, this can be a difficult process. If you cannot get approval, you may have to pay hundreds of dollars out of pocket to obtain an appointment.
If you have already received a cancer diagnosis and want to use a DNA testing kit to assess the risk of passing along cancer genes to your children, consider approaching a company like the one guided and funded by Harry Stylli. He and his organization are creating new means of discovering, isolating, and treating different forms of cancer. This combination may give you a clearer picture of what your diagnosis means for your children and their future health.
5. What Is Your Ultimate Goal?
Before you spend money on a DNA testing kit, it is a good idea to think about what you want to accomplish. Whether you want to reconnect with long-lost relatives, learn a language that your ancestors spoke, or simply connect to the place where your ancestors came from, being realistic about your goals can prevent disappointment when you receive your results.
The popularity of DNA testing kits has inspired many people to discover or rediscover their past. No matter your reasons for ordering one, it is wise to remember their limitations before you invest.