How Family History Really Affects Your Cancer Risk

Cancer is a disease that grows rapidly. The only true way to avoid cancer is to get tested regularly and pay attention to your symptoms. There are a lot of treatment options available for cancer and, if found early, there is a good chance that you can beat the disease and go on to live a healthy life.

There is no true way to know where cancer stems from, but there are behaviors that increase your risk of getting cancer. When it comes to genetics and cancer, there are genes that can be inherited that increase the risk of cancer but cancer doesn't come from your genetics alone.

Genetics

Most cancer patients don't have a genetic mutation for the disease occur. Having a genetic mutation doesn't mean that you will get cancer, it just means that certain behaviors will increase the likelihood of you getting these diseases. There is a list of cancer types that are genetic and you can test for these gene mutations by getting a genetics test. Another way to determine your family health history is to ask your family members.

Usually, the eldest family member in your family will have an idea of how your relatives fared with diseases like cancer and heart disease. If you aren't close with your family members and have lost touch, using a search tool like Go Look Up you can find the address and phone numbers of your relatives. Even if your family members have changed their names you can perform background checks and search for your relatives by their maiden names to get their contact information.

Preventive Care

Taking preventive measures against the probability of cancer-related illnesses is encouraged for everyone, but especially for those who have a family history of cancer. Smoking can increase your risk of cancer. If you are a smoker, there are programs that can help you quit. Using nicotine patches, gums, and even inhalers are effective ways to control your nicotine cravings. Smoking clinics are available at major pharmacies that offer walk-in clinic services.

Adult females should check their breasts once a month to ensure there are no concerning bumps or lumps. Aside from home preventive measures, ensure that you're going to get your annual checkups. Getting pap smears to check for cervical cancer and mammograms at your general physician's office can keep you aware of what is going on with your health.

There are also tests and other precautions for those who have tested positive for any genetic mutations. More recently, scientists have come up with home tests that allow you to test for certain cancers, like colon cancer, in the privacy of your own home. This makes the collection process easy. Once you've completed the test, you send it into a laboratory for testing. Visit a cancer care facility to obtain more information on preventive measures and treatment options.

It is important to follow up with your physicians when it comes to preventive care. The presence of abnormal cells can quickly multiply to the point where surgery may be necessary. If you feel as though you need to be tested, don't hesitate to address your concerns with your primary care doctor. Your doctor can refer you to a specialist that can perform precautionary tests to eliminate your concerns.

The best way to beat cancer is to stay informed and prepared. Genetic testing allows you to determine which types of genetic mutations you may have. Knowing your genetics can help you and your physician stay on top of preventive measures and testing. Eliminate or cut down risky behaviors that increase your risk of illness, like smoking. The best way to eliminate cancer is to test for abnormal cells regularly and engage in healthy behaviors, like a healthy diet and exercise.