April is here and with it the promise of spring! Along with this, every April, many organizations work together to raise awareness about cancer among minorities in honor of National Minority Health Month. In fact, April 10-16, 2016 is National Minority Cancer Awareness Week.
The purpose of this week is to raise awareness of the incidence of cancer among minorities and to inform the general public that the effects of cancer differ among diverse populations.
Anyone with the inherited gene mutation PPAP has an increased risk for colorectal polyps and/or cancer.
People with a personal or family history of multiple colorectal polyps may be familiar with well-known hereditary syndromes causing colorectal polyposis and cancer. These include Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP) and MYH Associated Polyposis (MAP). Recently, another syndrome was added to the genetics alphabet soup – Polymerase Proofreading Associated Polyposis, or PPAP for short. Continue reading →
It’s not uncommon for younger family members to ask where their grandparents came from, where they lived or how many children they had. Playing detective to figure out the names, locations and relationships of older relatives or distant generations can be fun. Gathering your family medical history can be interesting, too, with the added value of helping the people you love. The results might reveal a family connection to inherited conditions and diseases. Uncovering these kinds of family links can help doctors take better care of your loved ones, including recommending screenings, genetic testing, and looking for early warning signs of disease, including cancer.
Jessica Everett and Victoria Raymond, U-M genetic counselors, say that red flags concerning cancer in your family’s medical history can include:
More than one relative with the same or related cancers
Adopting healthy habits at a young age can pay off as you age.
As we age, the stakes get higher for coronary artery disease (CAD). A man in his 70s has a higher risk of developing CAD than a man in his 20s. But CAD does not occur overnight.
Even at 20 years old, you can affect what happens to you and your heart health when you are older. Having an appropriate health maintenance exam to define your risk of diabetes, high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and other cardiac risk factors is very important for heart health.
The role genetics plays
The single biggest risk factor for developing CAD is genetics. A person (man or woman) who has a family history of early-age CAD (usually defined as 55 or younger) needs to be extremely diligent about his or her heart health.
Even though you can’t change genetics, there are certain genetic risk factors that can be modified — and the earlier you start, the better. Continue reading →
“I already went to see a genetic counselor and I was negative. So I don’t need to think about genetics anymore, right?” Actually, reconnecting with your genetic counselor every once in a while is a good idea. The field of genetic science is an ever-changing field. New discoveries are made all the time that can help us better understand the influence of genetics on a person’s health. For many people it is a huge relief when they revisit a genetics clinic and have testing that does not identify any mutations.
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