Archive for category DNA / Paternity
If your friends and family aren’t telling you, I will: Quit Today! The cancer that causes more deaths than any other in the US is lung cancer. Smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer and it contributes to deaths by stroke and heart attack. New research to be printed in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery has been studying the use of CT (computed tomography) scans to screen for tumors in heavy, long-term smokers and this could have a huge impact on reducing deaths due to lung cancer. Of course, not smoking at all will have the largest impact, but if you still smoke, the National Cancer Institute’s ongoing randomized Lung Cancer Screening Trial showed that getting CT scans on a regular basis reduced deaths by 20%. The researchers of the newest study used three dimensional CT scans to look for histoplasmosis which is harder to diagnose on traditional CT scans because the nodules look like tumors. The study showed that using the proper protocol, doctors were able to avoid unnecessary biopsies of non-cancerous nodules and find tumors early enough for them to be removed.
As always with new research, more needs to be done and the researchers cautioned that if this screening becomes standard a very strict protocol for it will need to be followed to prevent unnecessary biopsies. Currently, there are no truly effective screenings for lung cancer, although there is a cancer screen and tumor marker test that can alert you to possible cancer. There is also a DNA genetic predisposition test which can point out specific areas where you may have a tendency to particular diseases, but the bottom line is that whether you have a predisposition to lung cancer or not, smoking is THE primary cause. Get tested and watch out for your risk factors, but first, reduce your chances and quit today!
Written by www.labtestingnow.com
Many people are afraid of finding out that they may get Alzheimer’s disease or any other form of dementia, primarily because there is no treatment. Would you want to know that you won’t recognize your spouse or children and that you won’t be able to take care of yourself? Maybe not, if there was nothing you could do to stop it! Then every slip of the tongue or forgetful moment could cause a panic attack. Would you be able to look forward to your “golden” years? I don’t know if I would. Because most people don’t think about it until they already have full blown symptoms, there isn’t much that can be done. New research is being developed that could detect signs of dementia in patients in their 40s that could allow for preventive changes in diet and exercise that could delay or even prevent the disorder.
One test, a computer screening test, takes only 30 seconds and identifies white matter lesions in the temporal lobe that appear to be related to early signs of dementia. Another is a verbal screening test, dubbed the “Sweet 16″ for the 16 questions in the test that appears to be as effective or better than the current standard test the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) which identifies dementia symptoms in older patients allowing for quick and easy detection. There are also Genetic Predisposition Tests that can look at your overall genetic pattern and possible risk of Alzheimer’s and other diseases. Knowing that there are more ways being developed that can identify this dreaded disease and preventive measures you can take means maybe we won’t have to get in a boat and sail off in the sunset to avoid burdening our loved ones.
The University of California at Berkeley had an interesting idea, “Bring Your Genes to Cal”, but the state Public Health Department disagreed. The original plan was to test incoming freshman for three genes involved in the metabolism of alcohol, lactose and folates. The theory was that providing this information to new students would help them manage their health better by perhaps, not drinking as much alcohol, understanding why they got uncomfortable after consuming dairy or increasing their intake of leafy greens to increase their folate levels. Unfortunately, the California Public Health Department determined that the information could be used improperly.
The University agreed not to provide the information directly to students but will test the samples provided voluntarily by approximately 1,000 students to explore these issues. The unexpected response is providing an experience that the Berkeley professors who started the program didn’t expect. Based on the adjustment of the program Berkeley is planning open debates and conversations about the ethics of genetic testing. Some clinics do provide genetic testing to determine a predisposition to specific diseases including certain cancers, coronary heart disease, multiple sclerosis and obesity among others. These clinics are certified to provide the testing whereas Berkeley is not and the testing was not part of a research study. The field of genetic testing is expanding dramatically and tests are starting to provide ever more valuable health information. The ethics of some of these tests and how the information is used is still a major point of controversy.
Written by www.labtestingnow.com
According to MedPageToday, Walgreens has decided to hold off on selling Over-the-Counter Home Genetic Tests. Walgreens received an email from the FDA asking them to wait because they consider this test a medical device and it is therefore subject to regulation. A majority of physicians are still not comfortable with allowing these types of tests to be used at home and they continue to recommend that their patients obtain testing at reliable testing facilities where strict protocols are maintained. The OTC tests that Walgreens was planning to offer allowed results for such conditions as pre-pregnancy, prostate cancer, diabetes and cystic fibrosis.
These tests provide information on an individual’s risk of developing numerous diseases within their lifetime as compared to a sample of other people. The information obtained from a Genetic Predisposition DNA test can be used to change your diet and lifestyle and possibly avoid some of these serious disorders. The results aren’t a guarantee because the environment plays such a large factor in our health. Still, the ability to take preventive action can be critical.
Written by www.labtestingnow.com
New research reported by the Alzheimer’s Association states that Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias may go unrecognized in African Americans and Hispanics who may not be as familiar with it and are less likely to get a formal diagnosis. This often delays treatment because there is a large gap between the time that the family recognizes the cognitive impairment and the time that a doctor is seen for treatment. Although the disease still shows up most often in white males, specific minority groups are much more likely to develop the syndrome. The specifics of why African Americans and Hispanics have a predisposition for the disease are not known, but they are more likely to have hypertension and diabetes which are known risk factors for Alzheimer’s and other dementias. DNA lab tests are available to determine your genetic predisposition for specific conditions, including Alzheimer’s, as compared to others in the population. Be aware of your risk factors and know the signs and symptoms of conditions for which you may have a tendency!
Talk shows and celebrity “mishaps” make discussions about DNA and Paternity a lot more fun for most of us. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like much fun for them. According to the March 1, 2010 Tyra Banks Show the reality is that one in ten people don’t know who their biological father is! Finding out whether a specific person is related to you can be traumatic and drastically change your circumstances. The most obvious impact for most of us would likely be custody or financial support. Another reason to get this information could be immigration status. Proof that a child is the offspring of a US citizen is critical to how and where they will be raised and what kind of life they will have. The actual test for DNA/Paternity is very simple to administer and can be used in court with the appropriate Chain of Custody paperwork. Ultimately, knowing about and connecting with your biological parent can bring security and additional possiblitites into your life. It’s not guaranteed, but it’s worth finding out.
Written by www.labtestingnow.com
Most of us think that we would certainly know if our spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend was cheating on us. But would we really? A recent article in The Baltimore Sun states that there are emerging infidelity trends and for reasons that our parents wouldn’t have thought possible. The newest trends are women are cheating more often than ever before and internet affairs that can lead to physical affairs. With the number of women in the workforce increasing and online chatting, dating and facebooking, there are more opportunities than ever! The other two trends are old standbys; friendships that turn sexual and workplace affairs.
Any of these can cause serious damage to your relationship and shouldn’t be overlooked. Confronting your partner may not be pleasant, but it can open the conversation and clear the air. One piece of good news: you don’t need to be a Private Investigator to check out that lipstick stain or stray blond hair on his or her collar. Paternity Tests are available that can confidentially check for DNA to find out for sure and hopefully ease your mind. Ongoing dialogue with your partner is a good safeguard against cheating, ensuring a close relationship and the ability to talk about the tough topics. You don’t have to live with uncertainty, you can do some investigating and get some facts.
Article written by www.labtestingnow.com