written by

Cynthia R. Dickerson

Cynthia R. Dickerson is a VP, Customer Experience & Marketing in Denver, CO

May 16, 2019

At-home DNA tests: Fun gift idea, but not great for knowing your health.

Maybe you want to confirm Great Uncle Albert’s version of family history, or perhaps you’re curious why you’re the only one in your family with red hair. Whatever the reason you’re interested, at-home DNA tests are wildly popular and widely available.

Now, in addition to concerns about privacy, you may want to consider the harm to your health that misinformation from an at-home DNA test, like 23andMe, might provide.

As part of the 23andMe DNA test, a user can opt to have their genetic material run through a BRCA test, a mutation of the BRCA gene would put a patient at high risk for breast and ovarian cancer.

As The New York Times recently reported, tests for BRCA through DNA kits like 23AndMe may result in false negatives, and false comfort.

Read the full article from the NYT here.

If you or someone you know is interested in genetic counseling, you can read about it on our site, or download our guide.