I once heard the argument that genomic medicine has a potential consequence in that it could lead us to "medicalizing" everybody. Everyone's genome will contain mutations that increase the risks of many diseases and known to cause disease. However, for the large majority of these mutations, the effects are not deterministic and are associated with poorly measured changes in disease risk. For some of these mutations, there are things that can be done (such as mammography for BRCA carriers), but for the large majority of genetic findings, there's really not much that can be done (other than buy better or more insurance). Thus, will people who get genetic analyses performed be walking around with unnecessary worry about potential disease risk? Might people seek excessive and unnecessary medical tests in response to these genetic findings? How do we balance this potential worry with the potential benefits that may come from genetic testing?
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