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Genetic Health
  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)



Q. Why is genetics important?

Over 40 percent of the population is at increased genetic risk for a common disease such as cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. Understanding your genetic background can help uncover your risk for developing these diseases. By knowing your risk, you can focus your prevention and screening efforts, and even participate in the genetic-based research efforts aimed at understanding, preventing, and curing disease.

Q. What kind of information and tools does GH offer?

Genetic Health (GH) provides in-depth and up-to-date information on the genetic aspects of certain common diseases.

Q. Who should use GH's web site?

GH's site is intended for individuals interested in learning what is currently known about genetics and common diseases, and who want to keep up with new genetic and preventive advances that pertain to their own health and the health of their family. In addition, consumers with a strong family history of disease will be able to understand their personal risk and identify genetic professionals in their area.

Q. Why does GH only focus on certain diseases?

GH focuses on a group of common diseases that affect many people, have a genetic component, and for which there are currently intensive genetic-based research efforts. Our focused approach allows us to provide in-depth and timely information for these diseases.

Q. Does GH's site substitute for the advice of my own doctor?

No. However, given the constraints imposed in today's managed care environment, physicians are not always able to deliver comprehensive information and advice regarding genetic health issues. In addition, some people have reservations about disclosing genetic information within the traditional health care system because of their concerns about potential genetic discrimination. Thus, GH offers a free, private, and convenient resource that can augment the services provided by your physician.

Q. Does GH eliminate the need to see a genetic counselor?

No. In fact, we see our role as complementary to that of genetic counselors. Our site and tools facilitate patient outreach, education, collection of family health information, and referral to genetic counselors. This enables counselors to focus on analysis of the family health history, additional education, patient counseling, and ordering and delivering genetic testing services, if desired.





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