There are millions of people receiving information about their DNA, as it pertains to their ancestry and/or health. A new test, for three mutations in two genes associated with higher rates of certain cancers, recently received FDA approval. But when it comes to the "information provided," what does that really mean?
The technique has been around since the early 90s, first being used only in cases for cystic fibrosis. Now, it is approved for more than 250 conditions.
Some in the media are referring to prophylactic mastectomies, a preventive measure against breast cancer, as the "Angelina Jolie Syndrome." This is incorrect, since hers is a legitimate case for this surgery. Conversely, and unfortunately, we have poor decision making and fear mongering by celebrities like Sandra Lee.
It may seem like the idea that the more information, the better is true in the medical field. Yet, that s not always the case. We see instances of overdiagnosis and overtreatment as a result of excess, unnecessary cancer