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I Have My Results, What Happens Next?

It’s a good idea to share test results with family members

There are tests for many different genetic mutations for a variety of inherited conditions. What your results mean will depend on the test and the condition. A genetic counselor can explain genetic testing options and what results may or may not mean, as well as the advantages or disadvantages of having your immediate family members and children tested.

While you are under no legal obligation to share genetic test results with anyone, including family members, you should consider sharing them with your family. That way, your family members have important information and can make their own decisions regarding if they would like to pursue testing.  If they are interested in moving forward, you should recommend they see a genetic counselor. And be sure to make copies of your results that they can bring to their appointments. If you are uncomfortable telling them in person, you can make copies of the results and mail them to family members.

Whether your test results will affect your health or treatment plan depends on many things, including whether any therapy exists for the condition. Some people are motivated to eat better and exercise more if they find they are at risk for an inherited condition. Once you have test results, a genetic counselor can explain the options you may have, from treatment to support groups.

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