Researchers have refined methods for genetic risk assessment, pre-clinical diagnosis, and prenatal diagnosis to identify persons who are at risk for certain GI disorders (eg, gastric cancer, lactose de-ficiency, inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer). In some cases, DNA testing allows practitioners to prevent (or minimize) dis-ease, by intervening before its onset, and to improve therapy. Per-sons who are identified as at risk for certain GI disorders may choose to undergo genetic counseling to learn about the disease; to understand options for preventing and treating the disease; and to receive support in coping with the situation (Yamada, 1999). Persons at risk for colon cancer often are targeted for DNA test-ing because it can provide a head start on this preventable cancer.
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