Dr. Harry Thomas and Britney Knowlton, PA-C on KEYE At Home DNA Kits Nov 2019
Britney Knowlton, a new mom and Physicians Assistant at Austin Gastroenterology, and Dr. Harry Thomas, a gastroenterologist with Austin Gastro, urge people to use caution when evaluating clinical information and interpretations from at-home DNA testing kits. Britney and her husband took these tests for fun as they began to plan to have a baby to learn more about their heritage. The portion of the test related to genetic diseases indicated that she had a high risk for Lynch Syndrome, an inherited condition that causes an increased risk for breast and colon cancer. Naturally, this caused a great deal of panic and concern for Britney and her husband. After seeing an oncologist for formal genetic testing Britney was relieved to find that she in fact does not have Lynch Syndrome. Dr. Harry Thomas explains that while these at-home DNA tests are useful for gaining insight into a person's ancestry, people should use caution when gleaning clinical information since these tests can be vulnerable to both false negatives and false positives, and that it is always best to talk with a doctor if you have concerns about your risk for genetic diseases.