Breast Cancer Gene
There is a breast cancer gene? Does that mean I have to do a genealogy search on my family? Yes, there is a breast cancer gene and I personally think that whilst you may not want to do a genealogy search, if you were to trace family history for two or three generations, you might well find family information that could help you with your health. Not only could it be a really interesting and educational experience, it may well save your life.
Investigating and recording family history can help you be aware of health links and risk factors for yourself and your family.
Medical history showing many relatives having had breast cancer, can increase your own risk factor, and if you have had breast cancer before, you may have increased risk in the future.
A small percentage of breast cancers are related to genetics with the inherited breast cancer gene. Two dominant genes are BRCA1 and BRCA2. Family members who have these genes have a higher risk of developing breast cancer in their lifetime.
Looking at first level relatives helps to decide the risk involved for breast disease within families, followed by second
level relatives. Having relatives with ovarian cancer may also increase your chance of breast cancer.
If breast cancer is in your family, you need to understand
and be proactive in
womens health issues.
Doing regular breast self exams (BSE) and visual observations can help you be familiar with your breasts, meaning if there were to be changes, you would notice them earlier.
To trace family history may well be a challenge, however being able to give medical professionals this information, could help them decide if breast cancer, or another medical condition, is something for you to be concerned about. I believe the more you can give your health professionals, the easier it is for them to help you in the
of your breast health.
We live in a modern age where science and genetics are amasing at discovering things we did not know, such as the genetic testing done for finding breast cancer. Every country is different in their handling of this, so you need to talk to your medical professional to explore the avenues available to have genetic testing done for the breast cancer gene. It is an educating experience that
my friend Jo
went through, and she and her family considered it to be well worth doing.
So ladies, next time there is a cold winters day, where the fireside beckons, or you are relaxing in summer and feel like a margarita, why not find out if you have a free family history of breast cancer. Instead of that Sunday afternoon snooze, why not grab a pen, ask family some questions and get recording family history, helping yourself and other family members. Who knows, it could be the start of a new hobby - it's addictive!
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