Genetic testing reveals more than family ancestry

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- More and more people are turning to at-home DNA kits to piece together their family trees. 

“When it comes to things like looking at your ancestry and thinking about the test we can order online, those are really interesting, and really anyone can access those,” Saint Luke’s Genetic Counselor Kallie Woods said. 

Woods said she’s seen the popularity of online genetic testing grow. 

“Some people might feel like their online testing looks fine, so maybe I don't need to worry about the rest of my family history. Maybe I don't need to worry about anything else,” Woods said. 

Although popular, some kits may not be the right test for you when it comes to getting a full diagnostic of your genetics and health. Some may require a blood test, while others may require a mouth swab. 

“Some of these tests options that we can pursue online really doesn't give us the whole picture of what can be going on genetically,” Woods said. “We want to make sure that we are looking at as much as we can when it comes to your health history. Not only at genetic information but what else can we be doing for you; kind of going back to that if we need to be doing screening, even if we don't have a genetic reason for cancer in the family, let's go ahead and set you up with that.”

Be sure to visit a genetic counselor to get a comprehensive diagnostic of your family’s health history.

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