Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cancer DNA Test - Learn Your Risk of Disease Before It Happens

It’s the newest cancer fad: Send in a sample of your spit, a company analyzes your DNA, and you get a report telling you whether you’re at risk for a particular type of cancer. In theory, you can then take steps to avoid the disease.

For instance, are you worried about your chances of getting breast or ovarian cancer? There are DNA tests that look for particular genes that have been shown to increase the risk for those diseases. Recent studies show that women who test positive for one of two genetic mutations have an 85% chance of developing breast or ovarian cancer by the time they turn 70.

Are you afraid you might get Parkinson’s disease? A DNA test can help gauge your risk. The founder of Google, Sergey Brin, sent a sample of his spit and ordered a gene test from 23andMe, a company co-founded by his wife Anne Wojcicki, and learned that he has a mutant gene linked to Parkinson’s disease. 23andMe told Brin that he has “a markedly higher chance of developing Parkinson’s in my lifetime than the average person… somewhere between 20% to 80% depending on the study and how you measure,” he says. Brin notes that with this knowledge he can modify his lifestyle (exercise may ward off the symptoms of Parkinson’s) and chose to invest in research to find a cure for the disease.

Another company offering a DNA test to assess the risk of getting Parkinson’s is Matrix Genomics, which also offers risk tests for Alzheimer’s, acute myocardial infarction (heart attack) and breast cancer. Pathway Genomics sells test a $299 package that test for genetic predisposition for 90 diseases and conditions, from prostate cancer to diabetes and more.

If you’re a smoker, you can use the Respiragene kit to collect your spit on a swab, mail it to Synergenz BioScience, a New Zealand company, and they’ll tell you whether you’re at moderate or high risk for lung cancer. With that info, you can decide whether to quit smoking, switch to snus, switch to smokeless, use a nicotine replacement product like Zonnic Gum, or just keep enjoying your cigarettes.

Keep in mind, these and similar tests for cancer and other diseaes don’t detect the disease itself. They look for signs that you’re at higher risk for getting the disease.

One way to capitalize on this growing genetic or DNA-based industry is to create, buy and sell domains (web addresses) that testing companies can use to attract customers. Consumers interested in learning about tests will usually type “cancer DNA test” into Google or other search engines. The company that buys the domain CancerDNAtest.com will get the largest share of those potential customers. The domain CancerDNAtest.com can be set up to take visitors right to the company’s product information and ordering page. LungCancerDNATest.com, ParkinsonsDNAtest.com and similar domains can be used in the same fashion. New domains can be registered at Moniker for under $10 each. For valuable advice on how to profit from the creation, buying and selling of domains, visit the Domaineering blog at http://domaineering.wordpress.com/.

DNA testing is opening new worlds for consumers and opportunities for businesses and enterprising domaineers.

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