Can You Trust the Medical Results from a DNA Kit?

As take-at-home DNA kits slowly decline in popularity, DNA companies struggle to find new niches to make a profit. Currently, the biggest trend is to offer a peek into the consumer’s medical future and what diseases they are at risk for developing.

Although our DNA contains all this information, interpretation of DNA results hasn’t caught up to the genetic testing advancement. And one story from Colorado illustrates that while science has come a long way, there’s still a lot we don’t know.

When Katy Mathes and six of her female family members received the results of their DNA tests, the medical results showed significant risk for developing cancer. Mathes had an 84% risk of breast cancer by age 70.

As a form of preventative healthcare, all seven women had surgery to remove their ovaries and fallopian tubes. Mathes and her sister additionally underwent double mastectomies.

However, years later, the DNA results from Myriad Genetics were reclassified from “pathogenic” to having “unknown significance.”

“My brain just shut off,” Mathes said, recalling when she learned the test was wrong.

While Susan Manley, senior vice president of medical services at Myriad, offered consolation by saying they take reclassification very seriously, her following statement perfectly sums up the distrust behind DNA medical conclusions: “The science is evolving.”

And she’s right. As science evolves, current theories are disproven. At this time, take-at-home DNA kits cannot be trusted for medical conclusions or predictions. This video shows how science has evolved… and how it’s continuing to evolve:

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