Posts for: February, 2021
By St. Mary's Medical Clinic
February 11, 2021
You got your mother’s blue eyes and your dad’s wavy brown hair. Everyone attributes your dimples to your great grandfather and your love of cooking from your grandmother. It’s cool to see how genetics and nurture have played a major role in you and your health.
Unfortunately, there are certain things that we wished we didn’t inherit. If cancer runs in your family, you could be at an increased risk. This is something that you need to discuss with your general medicine doctor at your next checkup.
My family has a history of cancer. Does this mean I’ll get cancer, too?
Not necessarily. While it’s true that genetics can play a role in what conditions or health problems you face throughout your lifetime, sometimes it’s certain habits and behaviors such as poor diet, not exercising, or smoking that are increasing your risk.
The good news is that while genetics cannot be changed, these bad behaviors can. Sometimes seeing the dangers of leading an unhealthy lifestyle through a family member who has developed cancer, can teach you a lot about the importance of quitting bad habits and leading a healthier lifestyle.
Cancer runs in my family. What can I do to protect myself?
Some people just assume that if cancer runs in their family that there isn’t much they can do to prevent it. Along with leading a healthy lifestyle, seeing your general medicine doctor for regular screenings can also provide peace of mind. Screenings can also identify and detect cancer early when it is highly treatable.
Talk with your general doctor about your risk so that you can decide which tests are right for you. We can also work with you to create a healthy lifestyle to reduce bad behaviors and habits that could be increasing your risk.
While many factors can play a role in whether or not you develop cancer over your lifetime, you must talk with your general medical practitioner to discuss ways to reduce your risk.