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Genetic testing for health


Most genetic tests in the NHS are currently undertaken for an inherited condition; i.e. a condition passed from one family member to another. However, tests are increasingly becoming available to improve patient treatment; for example, tests to identify the genetic make-up of some cancer tumours to enable drugs to be used which are known to be effective against that specific type of tumour. Some tests are becoming available to see whether a patient may react adversely to a particular drug therapy, or to decide the best treatment to use for a particular type of infection.