As the years pass, it's only natural to start worrying about how your health may change. But until recently, we've only been able to gauge what the future may bring by looking at our current health and family history. Enter Navigenics, a Silicon Valley-based personal genetics company dedicated to helping you understand your genetic dispositions to 28 common conditions, from Alzheimers to breast cancer, so that you're able to take preventative measures to ensure a long, healthy life.
I’d heard about genetic testing before, and thought, “Sure, someday.” But a few months ago, while pregnant with my daughter Sierra Ann, I decided it was time to make sure my health was where it should be. After signing up online for the surprisingly simple (on my end, at least) test, I received a saliva collection kit in the mail, and in less than a minute I was ready to send it back to Navigenics for analysis. About two months later, they alerted me via email that my test results were ready. I suddenly felt like a kid on Christmas morning, running down the stairs to see whether I got a new bike or a pet rock. I anxiously read through the results, and while I felt fairly relieved for the most part, I needed to ask a few more questions to help calm my hypochondriac tendencies.
Luckily, Navigenics has genetic counselors on hand 24/7 for that very reason. We went through my test results one by one and discussed what everything meant, as well as how I could lower my risk factors with diet, exercise and preventative check-ups. I found the take-fate-into-your-own-hands approach empowering, as such a test can quickly become deeply worrisome if you're not given a chance to make changes and essentially re-write your future. And while it’s naïve to think that the genetics test will solve all of my potential health problems, it definitely provided me with an insightful tool that was well worth the price.
To learn more about Navigenics and influence your genetic "fate,” visit navigenics.com. 7x7 readers can get tested for $499 (a savings of $500) through November 30, 2009 by using code 7x72009.
Check out 7x7's Hot 20 Under 40 Profile with Navigenics COO, Sean George.