(Human) Family Genetics

SpringerLover

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#1
So, apparently my genetics really, really suck. I've been pretty diligent about annual exams and bloodwork on myself, but I know there's more I should be doing/could be doing. I just found out tonight that one of my uncles has prostate cancer. :( Luckily it hasn't metastasized yet.

I know Chaz isn't really the place to ask for medical testing advice, but I'm kind of shell shocked. My dad died of cancer. His other brother had prostate cancer, but has been in remission for years now. His sister has MS. Both of my grandmothers had breast cancer.

Just... :(
 

Barb04

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#2
I think the best thing we can all do is try to eat good and live a healthy lifestyle with exercise too.
 

*blackrose

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#3
I think the best thing we can all do is try to eat good and live a healthy lifestyle with exercise too.
Yup. Nothing else you really can do. My Grandfather and uncle on my mom's side both passed away from cancer (different kinds). My grandmother on her side has severe gastrointestinal issues, as does my mom. On my dad's side, my Grandpa suffers from heart problems (and my dad has cholesterol issues) and my Grandmother, whom everyone says I am just like, has had multiple joint replacements and is currently suffering from alzheimers. Let's just say I terrified to end up like her.

I just don't really think of it. You can't prevent a genetic disease, but you can do things to not exacerbate it. So...that's what I try to do.
 

BostonBanker

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#4
Have you looked into genetic counseling? I think that would be the place to start. They should be able to look at all the family history and help you set up a plan for appropriate testing.
 
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#5
I don't trust that we know enough about genetics to put much stock in counseling beyond, hey this runs in your family, you might be at risk. well, you already know that. they're just scratching the surface with epigenetics. We know some cool things, but hardly the whole picture. They aren't going to change your genetics at this point and beyond eating clean and moving your body a lot, there isn't much more I'd consider personally. But that's me.

In other good news, prostate cancer is almost always a pretty low grade, low danger cancer, but not always so it can be concerning. but on the bright side, you probably don't have a prostate :)
 

Romy

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#6
Do they all live in the same area? Sometimes when I hear about that sort of thing I worry about a local environmental contaminant. My great grandmother and her husband both died of thyroid cancer and they weren't even remotely related. But they did live near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation for about 20 years of their lives.
 

Ozfozz

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#7
In addition to healthy living, make sure you get tested/screened often!
There may not always be much to do in terms of preventatives at this point; but if something is to show up, the earlier you catch it, the better.
 

Red.Apricot

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#8
*hugs* I know it's hard.

It's not exactly the same, but I have marfan syndrome, because my dad has it, and two of his siblings (who also had it) have died in the last year as a result of complications and it's scary.

Eating well and exercising really are the best ways to stay healthy though.
 

k9krazee

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#9
And even with healthy living and exercising...it's all still a crapshoot.

Anything can happen to anyone at any time. This week I buried a nurse who took care of herself and was passionate about healthy living and died of cancer at 50. Or the man who smokes a pack a day, has never exercised in his life and lives to be 95. Or a friend, 39 years old, in the army and in good physical condition died during a morning run the day of his big advancement ceremony. I see it everyday. Death (& cancer) sucks and it's unpredictable.

I agree with Ozfozz in regular screening and catching things early, for sure!!
 

SpringerLover

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#10
Have you looked into genetic counseling? I think that would be the place to start. They should be able to look at all the family history and help you set up a plan for appropriate testing.
I have looked into it, more so right after my dad died than recently. My aunt went through it and her MS was caught very early as a result of it.
 

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