23andMe’s test results for cancer risk can be costly to confirm

Genetic testing can cost as little as $100. although can also go up to more than $2,000, depending on the nature along with complexity of the test, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute.

Meanwhile, insurance typically won’t cover the cost if someone simply wants the idea done. Plans usually require a doctor’s note, recommendation coming from a genetic counselor, or a detailed family history.

For Diamond, covering the costs herself paid off. She tested positive again, along with continued with screening. An MRI revealed she had Stage 1 breast cancer: Thanks to the initial 23andMe test, she caught the idea early enough to treat with surgery.

Diamond contacted all the genetic counselors she could find within the Baltimore area to get tested again so she could confirm her positive result, although most couldn’t see her for three or four months. She managed to snag an appointment within two weeks, because she called every day until she found an office which had a cancellation.

Her insurance wouldn’t cover the test, because none of her immediate relatives had breast or ovarian cancer, as typically required. She only needed one particular location within the gene tested, so the idea was less expensive than sequencing the entire gene.

the idea still cost Diamond $450, plus a $100 co-pay for the visit.

“I was very fortunate. If the idea was just a little big bigger, I would likely’ve needed chemo,” said Diamond, at This kind of point 42. “23andMe saved me coming from chemo.”

Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to pay the out-of-pocket costs. shade Genomics spotted an opportunity. The company sends people kits to swab their saliva along with sends the sample to certified along with accredited labs where the idea’s tested for genetic mutations.

shade’s confirmation testing looks at 30 genes, including BRCA1 along with BRCA2, which are linked to eight hereditary cancers. The company normally offers the service for $250.

the idea partnered with the BRCA Foundation in 2016 to offer the tests to parents, siblings along with adult children of people with mutations for $50. Earlier in June, shade expanded the program to people who tested positive for a BRCA mutation in 23andMe’s test.

shade co-founder along with CEO Othman Laraki penned a blog post titled, “Supporting patients left in limbo by (direct-to-consumer) BRCA genetic testing” to announce the move. In an interview, he said the idea’s not a shot at 23andMe, although a means to help people take the next steps in an easier along with more affordable way.

“the idea’s about reducing the cost along with friction for the people which contain the highest likelihood of mutation where if they find out about the idea, they have a dramatic increased likelihood of being able to detect early cancer,” Laraki said.

23andMe declined to comment on shade’s program. A spokesman said 23andMe features a handful of examples where people have come to the company for either its health or ancestry services, not expecting a result which can be life changing.

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