Genetic Testing

WILLIAMSON GYNECOLOGY

Gynecology located in Pinehurst, NC

Your risk of most health conditions is affected by your family and the genes they passed to you. For example, around 10% of cancers are due to genetic factors that are passed down through families. At Williamson Gynecology, in Pinehurst, North Carolina, Cile Williamson, MD, MPH, FACOG, and her team perform a detailed family medical history to see if genetic testing may be appropriate. If indicated, genetic testing will help identify your risk of certain diseases and provide customized care to help you protect your health. If you’re interested in genetic testing, call or email us at appointments@williamsongyn.com today.

Genetic Testing Q & A

What is genetic testing?

Your genes are the hereditary building blocks of your body. Your genes provide traits from both your mother and your father, ranging from your height and eye color to your risk of developing cancer.

Genetic testing is the process of examining your genes for mutations and abnormalities that indicate an increased risk of developing certain diseases. Genetic testing can rule out or confirm certain diagnoses as well as identify your chances of developing or passing on a disorder.

Why should I have genetic testing?

Genetic testing helps identify your risk of certain diseases. For example, you may know that your mother, her mother, and several of your aunts have dealt with thyroid disorders or breast cancer, you probably know that you should keep an eye out for symptoms of those diseases. Genetic testing can confirm if you carry the gene mutations that are linked to thyroid problems or breast cancer.

Additionally, if you’re thinking of having a family, you may want to know if you’re a carrier for specific diseases and assess your risk of passing on a condition to your children.

What happens during genetic testing?

Dr. Williamson and her team offer genetic testing through Myriad Genetics®. Dr. Williamson takes either a blood sample or a swab from the inside of your cheek to send to the Myriad labs for analysis. After Dr. Williamson receives the results, she will contact you to let you know that your genetic test results are available.

Your insurance may cover part of the costs of testing. Also, your results are completely confidential. Only you and your health care provider will know the results of your testing.

What should I do if my genetics test results reveal an abnormality?

First, don’t panic. Just because your genetic testing shows an abnormality or mutation that indicates a risk of a specific disease doesn’t mean you’re going to develop it. Dr. Williamson uses the results of genetic testing in combination with your family medical history to formulate preventive treatment plans to protect your health.

For example, if your family has a history of a particular type of cancer and you carry the gene for that cancer, Dr. Williamson will suggest more frequent screenings to ensure that if the disease manifests, that she can catch it and treat it as quickly as possible. Comprehensive support and referral to general genetic counseling may also be provided.

If you’re curious about genetic testing, call or email Williamson Gynecology at appointments@williamsongyn.com today.

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