The Food and Drug Administration has given its first approval to the first DNA direct to consumer test for cancer risk genes. DNA testing company 23andMe received approval for roughly 1,000 BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genetic mutations.
23andMe is an at-home DNA testing kit that not only tells you about your ancestry it can also tell you if you’re a carrier for certain diseases or ailments.
The BRCA 1 and BRCA 2 genes are associated with an increased risk of breast, ovarian and prostate cancer. The FDA found women with these C variants assessed by 23andMe have a 45 to 85 percent high chance of developing breast cancer by age 70.
That information can be extremely helpful for people who don’t know their family’s health history. Last month, 44News Producer Jessica Dixon spoke about her experience with the 23andMe test.
Since she knows very little about her DNA, genetics or her potential health risks this FDA approval could be extremely helpful to her.
“You know one of the biggest things and it’s not even singular to my family, grandma had diabetes, my mom had diabetes, my aunt had high blood pressure those are things that a lot of families go through but I don’t know anyone in my family who has had dementia or Alzheimer, I have no idea if we’re predisposed to certain types of cancer. So that would be interesting to know,” says Dixon.
The FDA does warn if you take one of these tests and you find that you’re at risk for some type of disease you should always contact your doctor.