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How is Genomic Testing Done?

 

Medicine has advanced to a place where treatments can be tailored to individuals based on their unique genetic profile. That information is obtained through genomic testing. Keep reading to learn more about the testing process, including how it is done and how the results can be used to improve health outcomes.

What is Genomic Testing?

Although their names are similar, and they are related, genetics and genomics are not the same thing. Genetics is the study of inherited traits and how they are influenced by changes in our genes called mutations. Mutations have a direct effect on causing specific diseases. Genomics focuses on the interaction of genes and small changes called “SNPs” that can affect how they function within your body and how they interact with your environment to affect the manifestation of diseases. Read more about the difference between genetics and genomics.

Genomic testing is being used in all sorts of medical fields. One of the best known is how it can be used after diagnosis to help find information about the potential aggressiveness of cancers or to make more precise determinations about the course of treatment. That is called oncogenomics. Read more about oncogenomics and other “omics”.

But the most powerful way to use genomic testing is to proactively support each person’s unique biochemistry through Genomic Medicine – using personalized diet, lifestyle and medication strategies within a holistic health model to reverse, improve, or even prevent a chronic disease altogether. 

How Is It Done?

While genetic information can be obtained from samples of many body tissues, including blood or tumors, most genomic testing for nutrigenomics and pharmacogenomics is now done with saliva or a buccal (cheek) swab. Here at Genomic Medicine Works we use buccal swabs, making collection easier than ever.

Unlike genetic testing that looks at specific genes and the impact of mutations on specific diseases, genomics studies large sections of data. It considers how small changes in genes interact with each other and with the environment to contribute to diseases and health conditions. Read more about health conditions that can be addressed with Genomic Medicine.

Why Use Genetic (Genomic) Information in Your Care?

Genomics helps medical professionals tailor prevention and treatment to your body’s specific makeup – right down to your own DNA. For people who have a family history of certain diseases, genomic testing may offer insight into their chances of developing the same or related conditions, and what they can do to possibly prevent it. But most chronic diseases, including cancer, occur in people that do not have a family history of the disease. Knowing your genomic map enables you to intervene before you develop a disease, or even symptoms. This allows a proactive approach instead of a treatment after diagnosis.

In cases where a diagnosis has already been made, specialized and individualized treatments can be designed to offer increased chances of success. DNA-directed dietary, lifestyle, supplement and even medication interventions, are changing our ability to maximize health and wellness.

How Can You Use Genomics?

Modern medicine is embracing genomics as a way to understand how genes and the environment interact to cause disease. Learn more about using Genomic Medicine in your practice.

Request your complimentary call today and learn more about how to utilize genomic information in your practice.

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