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New Genetic Testing Approach Aimed at Empowering Important Health Decisions, Promoting Disease Prevention, Early Detection and Tailored Treatment Solutions

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In the realm of healthcare, the age-old adage “Prevention is better than cure” holds true. But the question is, how can we truly protect ourselves from diseases? Well, it all lies in our DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), which serves as the genetic blueprint for our bodies, holding information about inherited traits, ancestry and potential predispositions to various diseases.

Hence, genetic testing, also known as DNA testing, comes into play as a powerful tool that offers valuable insights into our genetic makeup, enabling us to understand our unique genetic characteristics and potential health risks. It is a sophisticated screening process that analyses our DNA and RNA (ribonucleic acid), hunting for genetic changes or mutations. Its applications extend across various medical areas, often altering the medical care that you or your family members receive.

As a person-centric hospital, Subang Jaya Medical Centre (SJMC) supports every individual and paves the way for a healthier and more fulfilling life. It has recently launched the hospital’s first comprehensive genetic testing package that is suitable for adults of every age group regardless of gender, as a step forward in enhancing the well-being of all individuals. Leveraging new genetic technologies, SJMC is able to analyse genetic variants, which may help in identifying risk predisposition related to certain genomic variants, as well as factors such as diet, sleep, stress and smoking.

The genetic testing package aims to provide an overview of key health insights to promote disease prevention. Patients will receive consultation from a certified genetic counsellor to help with the understanding of the genetic profile received and they will be supported by a multidisciplinary team.

Professor Dr. Pathamanathan Rajadurai, Consultant Pathologist at SJMC, who is also an esteemed researcher with over 200 scientific publications in international journals highlights that: “The genome is a treasure trove of insights. In healthcare, genetic testing isn’t just an option; it’s an evidence-based choice that leads to tangible improvements in patient well-being. This development shifts medicine from one-size-fits-all to tailored solutions, where value is measured in lives improved.”

Genetic testing has a significant impact on various facets of healthcare and individual well-being. Its most important contribution lies in early disease detection and prevention, including assessing the risk for genetic conditions, understanding responses to medications and lifestyle changes; and guiding disease prevention or treatment plans.

The process involves collecting a saliva, swab or blood sample, which is then sent to the laboratory for DNA sequencing and interpretation. The results will be validated by geneticists and scientists, culminating in a personalised genetic test report.

After undergoing genetic testing, a comprehensive report detailing the individual genetic predispositions will be generated. The invaluable information will help to understand an individual’s genetic traits and potential health risks, followed by receiving personalised consultations from the genetic counsellor.

“Genetic counselling ensures you understand your genetic information correctly, which is vital for making medical decisions. Beyond the report, other factors such as prior personal history and family history will also be reviewed by a certified genetic counsellor to maximise the impact of genetic testing. Hence, we are committed to supporting individuals in tailoring healthcare advice and comprehensive action plans from our multidisciplinary team,” explains Ms Yoon Sook Yee, Certified Genetic Counsellor at SJMC.

As one of the four finalists in the Flagship Hospital Programme 2021-2025 by the Malaysian Healthcare Travel Council (MHTC), SJMC is always at the forefront of healthcare innovation and remains dedicated to providing innovative healthcare solutions. Through the genetic testing services, SJMC hopes to empower individuals to unlock their health potential on their wellness journey. The testing package covers a wide array of sectors, including allergies, cancer risks, cardiovascular diseases, diet and nutrition, drug response, sports and fitness and more. With insights drawn from over 1,000 reports based on each individual’s unique genetic blueprint, the results will be available within a timeframe of 30 days.

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