Risks associated with requesting medically actionable findings include:
Learning unanticipated information. If you request your medically actionable results, you could then learn that you and your family are at an increased risk for cancers or cardiac disease. This information might be upsetting to some people. If you were found to have a medically actionable finding, certified genetic counselor from Genome Medical would be available to discuss what the results mean for you and your family and address any concerns you have about the results.
Potential for false reassurance if no medically actionable results are found. While a negative result reduces your chance that you have an inherited health risk related to the ACMG 59 genes, it is important to remember that the risk is not eliminated. This is because the testing currently cannot pick up all types of disease-causing variants in the 59 genes reviewed. If you have a personal or family history of a medical condition that is (or could be) genetic, you should not rely on testing of your gGap data for medical information. In that case, there may be different genetic testing that would be better for you to consider having, which you can discuss with your doctor or certified genetic counselor.
Genetic discrimination. Genetic test results, such as your gGap results, can open up the possibility of genetic discrimination – being treated differently by others (such as insurance companies or employers) based on your genetic test results. While gGAP does not share any information with your insurance, should you have a medically actionable finding and wish to pursue confirmatory clinical genetic testing, your results would then become part of your medical record.
Fortunately, in the U.S., the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) is a federal law established in 2008 that prevents genetic discrimination by employers and health insurance companies. Some states have additional laws that offer protections not covered by federal laws. Other countries offer similar or additional laws. However, none of these provides 100% protection or covers all forms of insurance (such as non-group health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance or mortgage insurance). For more information about GINA, you can go to http://www.ginahelp.org/GINA_you.pdf.