Genetic testing is now accessible and popular. Color Health has a genetic testing service that is easy to use and focus on health risks.
Color provides genetic analysis and analysis with a focus on health insights, like hereditary health risks of cancer and heart disease.
Color’s website claims that their $249 clinical-grade DNA test has historically cost thousands of dollars. With this test, you’ll collect a saliva sample and then mail it to Color. Once a doctor reviews the sample, your DNA will be sequenced and analyzed.
You will receive a report with your results within a few weeks. This report will tell you about your hereditary cancer, heart disease, and medication response genes.
Screening for genetic cancer risk is one of the main parts of Color’s service. According to research from
Color has a website that breaks down cancer types.
- Hereditary cancer: caused by a genetic mutation; typically seen across two or three family generations and diagnosed in patients at a much younger age than other types of cancer
- Familial cancer: appears frequently enough in families that it’s likely not due to random chance; while no genetic mutation has been identified yet, there may be an undiscovered hereditary component
- Sporadic cancer: caused by spontaneous genetic mutations and can’t be explained by a single factor
You will learn about your risk of hereditary heart disease and be tested for your genetic response to certain FDA-approved medications.
Color has a number of benefits, such as free genetic counseling and ongoing support for any future health changes.
- More affordable than traditional testing.
- Genetic counselors have access to it.
- After you receive your results, you will receive continued support.
- Some tests may be covered by insurance.
- limited testing options
- To get insurance coverage, a doctor needs to order the tests.
Color genetic testing is a good option for people who want to know more about their genetic background and how it might affect their health. The testing can’t diagnose any conditions, but it can help you figure out if you’re predisposed to certain things, such as heart disease or certain types of cancer.
“It is important to keep in mind that a predisposition doesn’t mean you will develop a specific condition or disease.”
“If you don’t know much about your family’s medical history, knowing more about your genetic background can be helpful.”
Price: $249 (+$9.95 shipping and handling, +$15 fee if you use Color Health’s doctor)
This kit is designed to assess your risk of hereditary cancer and hereditary heart health, and how your genes may affect your response to medication.
The hereditary cancer test looks at 30 different genes to assess your potential risk for hereditary cancer, including the genes associated with breast cancer — BRCA1 and BRCA2. The test also assesses risk for the following hereditary cancers:
- The color of the colon.
- There is a form of cancer called melanoma.
- The stomach.
- The bladder.
- The uterus.
The hereditary heart health test looks at 30 genes that may affect your risk for developing heart conditions.
The medication response test looks at 14 genes that may be associated with how the body responds to common prescription medications.
It takes about 3 to 5 business days for a testing kit to be sent. You must return the kit to the USPS within 24 hours.
The purchase also includes a complimentary genetic counseling session.
- Purchase the Extended Testing Kit from Color’s website.
- The kit is sent by color. You will give a saliva sample in the container. To salivate, Color recommends thinking of lemons.
- You can mail the saliva sample.
- “A doctor will contact you if necessary after reviewing the sample. If you don’t have a doctor’s order, this doctor can approve the test for you.”
- You will get your results in a few weeks. This includes your genetic analysis, your risk of certain cancers and heart disease, and how these results affect your family, as well as information about genes that affect your medication response and recommended personal health screening guidelines.
- “You will have access to phone consultations with a genetic counselor once you have your results. Color’s genetic counselors will explain your report, answer questions, and discuss how your results could affect your family. There is no extra cost for these calls.”
- “You will receive updated results based on the saliva sample you sent in when new research and findings are published. You can update your Color profile if you or your family members have health changes. One of Color’s independent doctors will review your results after this.”
Color Health claims their tests are more than 99% accurate. The company has been awarded a lot of patents.
In addition, the World Economic Forum — a Geneva-based “independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, cultural, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas” — has recognized Color Health as a leader in clinical testing.
The genetic test kit from Color is mostly positive with an average rating of 4.5 stars. Customer reviews say that the service was worth the cost.
The brand is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating. Color has received two complaints overall and has responded to both. Both complaints have to do with the brand’s COVID-19 test.
The results you’re looking for
“Recreational” DNA tests like 23andMe cost less, but offer less sophisticated testing. If your motivation is finding family members — or simply the novelty of testing your DNA — you might prefer a recreational test. If you’re more interested in health risks for you and your family, Color is probably a better choice for you.
How this will affect your family
For better or worse, not everyone wants to know about their health risks. If some of your family members live by the “ignorance is bliss” mantra, they might not want to know these results. You are, of course, entitled to learn about your own DNA, but be mindful of how this information could affect your relatives.
If you are worried about their reaction, ask if they want to hear the results, or keep the test to yourself.
You’ll need a doctor’s order
“It is less complicated than it sounds. You don’t need an order from your doctor. You can submit a saliva sample to Color, which will connect you with a doctor from an independent network of physicians. The doctor can submit the order if he needs to.”
You’ll also learn ‘fun stuff’
The Color Discovery service provides results about genes that don’t contribute to life threatening conditions but are certainly interesting. This includes your earwax type, if you have an alcohol flush response, lactose intolerance, and cilantro preference.
“These results are based on still-developing science and shouldn’t be used to make medical decisions. The Color Discovery service is less accurate for certain ethnicities. The company doesn’t specify which ethnicities.”
Where you live
Color Health has genetic testing for customers all over the world. The Color Discovery service is only available to US residents.
|Product||Pricing||Genetic counseling included?||Best for|
|Color||$249 for extended||yes||finding out genetic risks for various conditions|
|23andMe||$199 for Health + Ancestry||no||family tree building and genetic health information|
|Cytokinetics||depends on provider||depends on provider||testing for heart and neuromuscular disease risks|
|Myriad||depends on provider||yes||providers looking to test patients for cancer biomarkers|
What are the three types of genetic testing?
There are three different forms of genetic testing.
- Testing for genes.
- chromosomal testing
- Gene expression tests
What does Color genetic testing test for?
The brand tests for hereditary cancer and heart disease risks.
Is genetic testing covered by insurance?
Private insurance may cover genetic testing. The test needs to be ordered by a doctor for it to be eligible for coverage. You can contact your insurer to confirm your coverage.
The service is called Color. You will learn about your potential heart disease and cancer risks, learn about your genes, and learn about certain medications. The price includes one-on-one genetic counseling, and the science is backed by clinical testing.