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Robert Klitzman: Doctor, Have You Had Your DNA Tested?

In the New York Times, Dr. Robert Klitzman notes the rise in genomic sequencing: "As the cost has fallen, more people are getting their genes sequenced.

Countless patients with cancer are now having their whole genomes mapped, since genes often predict how well these individuals respond to various chemotherapies – which drugs will work best for you versus me, and which will give each of us the worst side effects. Parents who have children born with medical problems frequently seek whether a mutation is the culprit – so that they can screen for it, and prevent a subsequent child from having it."

However, he says that he hasn’t gotten his own genes tested. "I am curious about what lies buried in my DNA – how the blueprint that made me contains the imprints of all my ancestors. Luckily, however, I am healthy and have no major medical problems. So I see no medical reason for me to test. Of course, that may change."

Finally, he cautions patients and practitioners not to get overzealous about this newly affordable procedure. "As doctors and patients, we have all entered a brave new world – and should proceed with prudence."

Read the rest of the article over at the New York Times.