Know the risks of DNA testing kits

Know the risks of DNA testing kits
Many people go a step farther than just their DNA kit. (Source: NBC)

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT/NBC) - DNA kits were likely one of the hottest gifts this Christmas season.

Many people go one step further and send the raw data from their kit results to a third party that offers to reveal even more about your genetic risks for certain diseases.

But in one case, the results backfired.

When radiologist resident Dr. Joshua Clayton got his test results back from a popular DNA testing kit, he says everything was fine.

For an extra five dollars, a third party lab would run his raw data through a database of research to determine if he had a gene variant linked to a disease.

The results showed he had a mutation linked to what is called Lynch Syndrome.

“It was scary to think I might have something I have to act on for the rest of my life. It prompts all these questions, like, ‘Do I have a low-level cancer now that I don’t know about?’ I certainly would like to know more. I mean, at the time it was very scary,” Dr. Clayton said.

A clinical test found Dr. Clayton did not have the potentially cancer-causing gene mutation.

Doctors suggest that if you are truly curious about your genetic risk, you should see a genetic counselor.

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