Smarter Family: Breast Cancer? Do you know your family history?
So, I remember getting the phone call when my mom told me she had breast cancer. She told me and then I asked all about what the next months for her were going to be like, what treatments she was going to have, all about this long road she was about to travel down...but she didn't want to talk about that until she told me about what this diagnosis meant for me...and my daughter.
Yeah, she's like that, always thinking of us, over herself, but she was right. Breast cancer is now part of our family history. I need to tell my doctors, my daughter will need to tell hers when she's older. I started getting mammograms before the usual age of 40.
We all know the basics, right? That your risk of breast cancer increases with age. Of those women that get breast cancer, 25% are those with a family history of it. Sometimes, your risk is increased - by quite a lot -- depending on if the genes you carry are altered. They say about 10% of women with breast cancer will have one of these kinds of altered genes.
So what does all of this mean? It means we all need to know our family history of breast cancer. I'm not saying run out and find out if you carry any sort of altered gene, but knowing if every women on your dad's side had breast cancer or if your mom's Meemaw had it. It's being aware of your risks so you can make informed decisions on your health - and that of your kids too.
Now, I'm obviously just talking breast cancer here, because it is breast cancer awareness month and all, but your overall family medical history is an important thing to know in general. Can literally save your life. Why not get that family medical history going this month? Find out if heart disease or diabetes or any other types of cancers or medical conditions run in your family and your husband's.
Do you know your family's medical history? Does cancer impact your history?