by Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei
Posted September 26, 2007 in DNA Testing, Polls About DNA
Nobody likes going to the doctor. (And if you do, I want to know why!) It’s inconvenient, time consuming, potentially expensive, and downright scary. You may think you’re going in for a routine check-up only to be told that you have a health condition that needs regular medication, like a partially clogged artery that requires statins. Worse still, what if the doctor proclaims you only have 8500 days until you’re dead?
No one who’s taken it is frightened or scared when they get their results back. It’s all probabilistic — just like a cholesterol test. People have an intuitive [understanding of] testing and they’re not scared.
It’s one thing to be tested for a specific genetic mutation because you’re at high risk due to family history or other clinical indicators. It’s another thing to get a whole genome scan to highlight areas that may or may not cause you problems in the future depending on your lifestyle, environmental exposures, and level of impact conferred by the gene. Reminds me of what some relatives have told me in the past:
You think you’re healthy when you go see the doctor. No symptoms. Nothing. Then they do all those tests and find out there’s something wrong with you. And the next thing you know, you’re dead or dying!
The big hurdle to whole genome sequencing may not be the technology itself. Companies that focus on direct-to-consumer medical genetic testing, such as Navigenics, DNA Direct, and Myriad (see previous post about advertising for the BRACAnalysis genetic test), must also think about how to appropriately market their services and convince consumers that there is truly nothing to fear from having more genetic information.
I confess that I’m a little scared to know more about my DNA. Tell me I’m not alone. Are you scared too? Take the poll below!
Update: A comment left by InsaneDisabled in response to Esther Dyson’s piece about the Health 2.0 conference seems to agree with me:
Americans don’t want to know everything about their health. We treat our bodies like we treat our cars. We don’t need to know what’s under the hood. That’s the mechanic’s job.
*Disclosure: I work for DNA Direct, which occupies the same space as Navigenics.
Knowledge about Genetic Risk is Power or is it Fear?...
DNA Videos: Genetic Testing on NBC Nightly News...
Yay or Nay for Genetic Testing?...
Types of Genetic Tests...
Family History of Disease Scares Parents More Than Genetic Test Results...
DNA Video: Sequenom Prenatal Genetic Testing...
Let’s Talk About Direct-To-Consumer Genetic Testing...
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.
Search Eye on DNA
- Genetic Genealogy on Faces of America
- DNA Network Tweet Cloud
- Genetics = Real Science
- Larry David’s DNA Test
- Lopez Tonight First Late-Night Show to Offer DNA Testing
- American Genes Don’t Exist
- Knowledge about Genetic Risk is Power or is it Fear?
- Murderer Gets Reduced Sentence Because His Genes Made Him Do It
- Video: Knome’s Ari Kiirikki Speaks with Medgadget
- DNA Toys: Ben 10 and Digimon Digivice
- 100 Facts About DNA
- Salaries for Jobs in Genetics
- Fetal Gender DNA Tests Answer Common Pregnancy Question...Or Not
- How To Determine Paternity Without A DNA Test
- What does DNA mean to you?
- Eye on DNA Interview: Dr. Tzung-Fu Hsieh of RedTracer DNA Test for the Red Hair Gene, MC1R
- Books About DNA: The Crime of Reason by Robert B. Laughlin
- Genetically Modified Organisms Bring in the Cash
- Navigenics Introduces Physician Portal and Annual Insight Service
- People Who’ve Had Their Genomes Sequenced
09/29/2009 07:03 am
- Larry David’s DNA Test
11/17/2009 02:52 am
- 23andMe DNA Tests for $399, Down From $999
09/10/2008 04:33 am
- Crazy Genetic Marketing Ideas
07/05/2008 09:14 pm
- Parenting Children Using Genetic Tests
05/18/2009 02:09 am
- Business of DNA
- DNA @ Google Answers
- DNA and Disease
- DNA and Genealogy
- DNA and the Law
- DNA Around the World
- DNA Fun
- DNA in General
- DNA Inventions and Gadgets
- DNA Lab Talk
- DNA Podcasts and Videos
- DNA Quotes and Excerpts
- DNA Testing
- Gene Therapy
- Genetic Engineering
- Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms
- Jobs Involving DNA
- Personalities with DNA
- Polls About DNA
- January 2010
- November 2009
- October 2009
- September 2009
- August 2009
- July 2009
- June 2009
- March 2009
- February 2009
- January 2009
- December 2008
- November 2008
- October 2008
- September 2008
- August 2008
- July 2008
- June 2008
- May 2008
- April 2008
- March 2008
- February 2008
- January 2008
- December 2007
- November 2007
- October 2007
- September 2007
- August 2007
- July 2007
- June 2007
- May 2007
- April 2007
- Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast
- Let’s Get Personal
- Another Blasted Weblog
- The Rest of the Story: Tobacco News Analysis and Commentary
- Infrared Sauna Info
- The Loom
- Flu Patrol
- The Panda’s Thumb
- Scared to Health