Testing Likelihood of Getting Diseases

This is a rush transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," April 8, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: You guys hear about this? Today, a new genetic testing kit that will tell you if you could get Alzheimer`s or cancer. Navigenics is launching this home kit for 2,500 bucks a pop.

Now, it uses a simple saliva sample to detect your risk to 18 various diseases. But would you want to know that? Well, people at the New York City launch with mixed feelings today.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Absolutely not.

Watch the interview with the Navigenics CEO


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Personally not. This is it. You live now. Why would you pay to know this?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I feel like, if it runs in your family and you think there would be a likelihood that you would have it, it might be worth it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I really wouldn`t want to know like -- like -- because how would you prepare yourself? If you know you`re going to have these diseases, how would you prepare yourself?


CAVUTO: Mari Baker is president and CEO Navigenics.

Mari, this is kind of spooky stuff, though, isn`t it?.

MARI BAKER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, NAVIGENICS: Well, Neil, it is all about knowing -- if you knew That you were at risk for getting A disease, you knew you were at risk for something, wouldn`t you want to go do something about it?

Now, people have the choice. It is something you can -- you can choose to come and take advantage of our service. But it is really for those people who want to be empowered about their health, who don`t want those surprises, and want to know the information, so they can take control.

CAVUTO: All right. But with some diseases that have no cure, you found out pretty much how you are going to die, right?

BAKER: Well, everything that we are reporting on has actionable steps that you can take. It is one of the principles that we have used in developing the service, is everything has an action step that you can take for either early detection and diagnosis, so you can prevent complications, or, in some cases, so you can prevent the disease altogether.

Colon cancer is a great example of something in this country where the standard practice of medicine is to get screened at age 50. But thousands of people die every year before that age.


CAVUTO: But, in other words, there would be something in the saliva that would be a marker that you might have a predisposition for this?

BAKER: That`s right. So, it might not make sense to screen everybody. But for those who have a high predisposition for colon cancer, to get a screen done early, so we can find those polyps early, and deal with it before it becomes cancerous, is a better solution.

CAVUTO: But you could get a whole nation of hypochondriacs going, right?

BAKER: We could get people who actually got up and took advantage of this information to reduce their risks for disease and were healthier, and could be a clear part of improving the health care situation overall in this country.

CAVUTO: I always worry, Mari, whether you get the wrong saliva. In other words, you misdiagnose someone and said, oh, that was Charlie`s saliva.

BAKER: Well, the system has a number of precautions in place to help make sure that we have got the right saliva coming back for the right person matched up.

Okay, Mari, we will see where it goes. Thank you very much.

BAKER: Thanks, Neil.

CAVUTO: Mari Baker -- she is the president and CEO of Navigenics. And everyone was interested in this today.


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