Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: What to Know

October 27, 2016
Greg Guthrie, ASCO staff

Nadine Tung, MD, is the Director of the Cancer Risk and Prevention Program at Beth-Israel Deaconess Medical Center. She specializes in treating people with breast cancer and oversees genetic testing at her institution.

You may have seen at-home genetic tests advertised on the Internet, television, or elsewhere that can be used to check your risk for specific diseases, including certain types of cancer. These tests are called direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests. DTC genetic test kits include instructions for collecting a sample of saliva or blood that is mailed to a laboratory for testing. Test results are then provided to you by mail, online, or over the phone.

Choosing to use an at-home genetic test is a complex decision. share on twitter  What exactly is a DTC genetic test? What are the benefits and drawbacks of these tests? What do you do with the results? In this podcast, Dr. Tung provides her expert insight on these tests and things people should consider before using a DTC genetic test.

  1. What is a DTC genetic test [1:25]?

  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of DTC genetic tests [3:53]?

  3. Things to think about before using a DTC genetic test [7:47].

  4. What to do if you’re concerned about a result from a DTC genetic test [9:48].

This is a prerecorded audio podcast. It can be listened to online or downloaded to your computer. A transcript of this podcast is also available. For more information, visit the Cancer.Net podcast page.