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This is the age of information. Today, there is an unlimited amount of knowledge that we can harness to help us make better, more informed decisions. It’s changed everything, from how businesses work to how baseball teams scout players. Now it’s playing a significant role in how patients make health decisions.
Think about the first time you met with a new physician. Most likely, you were asked questions about your family’s history of illness: Who had cancer, what diseases your parents suffered, did anyone have heart disease, and so on.
That still happens but it’s ratcheted up now due to the evolution of genetic testing. At routine health visits physicians are using their patients’ DNA to predict future health risks, such as cancer, cardiac and neurological conditions – even lactose intolerance - with increased accuracy.
By identifying potential health issues, physicians help patients take proactive steps to avoid future illnesses, which may be as simple as making healthy lifestyle changes, said Advanced Primary Care Physician Nadim M. Ilbawi, MD.
“Genetic testing provides a lot of valuable information, some of which can be confusing,” Dr. Ilbawi said. “We help patients sort through it and in collaboration with our genetic counselors discuss any risks and how to use the information to make informed choices about their health.
“A routine health visit that offers the option to analyze your DNA is a great opportunity for patients,” Dr. Ilbawi said. “It has also been an asset for our Advanced Primary Care doctors who can incorporate a detailed assessment of a patient’s genetic history to more comprehensively care for the patient.”
If you want to learn more about genetic testing at NorthShore, please visit Advanced Primary Care.