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Your History of Cancer is Important

Feb 27, 2008
Prevention is the best cure. Perhaps you have heard of that before and thought to yourself "if only all those sick people would have taken better care of themselves, they would not have to suffer from cancer now." If you are puffing on a cigarette or sun bathing as you think that, know that you are doing what people have done for centuries.

Humans, by nature, prefer to put off getting more education or creating healthier habits until they are already suffering the negative effects of their actions. Hospitals are now full of people who decided they were "immune" or that other things were "more important" than their health. The first matter you should take into concern is your family history with cancer.

Cancer springs from cell mutations so heredity is the biggest risk factor in your vulnerability. If you are unfamiliar with your family's medical history, it is time to take an interest and familiarize yourself with what unpleasant demons may be lurking in your genes. Awareness will allow you to prepare adequately and prevent possible tragedy later on. If your parents are still alive, they are the best source initially.

I recommend you do a web search for a pedigree chart you can print off and fill in the blanks. A good pedigree chart will allow you to trace your heritage back four or five generations, covering more than the last one hundred years of your family history. There will be spots to note full names, maiden names, wedding dates, birth dates, death dates, and some important places. Retracing your family history can bring immense satisfaction in addition to informing you of any possible health risks.

Other family members may be necessary to help you complete the chart. If there have been no cases of cancer in your family for the last four or five generations, you should feel confident that your heredity is not a risk factor in coming down with cancer. Some of the resources available for those who do not have family resources to tap in to are family history web sites. One of the most popular such sites is Ancestry dot com, which offers extensive access to all of the world's genealogical documents they can get a hold of.

The site is not free to use but is the most popular and definitely one of the most thorough. Some libraries offer free access to the site, so it may be worth a call to the libraries near your home. Do not forget the college libraries near you, they may have access that your local public library does not.

As you research your family's history, pay attention to any deaths due to "natural causes" because it may be that your ancestor suffered from some kind of cancer that was never detected. Hopefully there are enough diaries or journals as well as newspapers and census records to help you rebuild your family tree strong enough to see how much hereditary risk you may be running with cancer.
About the Author
Terry Fitzroy is a professional writer specializing in Colonoscopy and Genetic Tests To learn more about Colon Cancer visit MyriadTests.com
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