Today I am participating in a very special blog fest hosted by Stephen Tremp, L. Diane Wolfe, Michael Di Gesu and Alex J. Cavanaugh. Thank you guys so much for hosting this amazing event.
The Survive and Thrive Bloghop is aimed at bringing awareness to disease prevention and early detection for medical conditions that could be avoided with the proper care. This is something I've always felt very strongly about, as a little awareness, a few check ups and screenings can save countless lives. So join us today and help spread the word!
I have a few things I'd like to bring up today, both related to one of the leading causes of death in the United States -- cancer. My maternal grandmother died of melanoma when she was only in her early 30's and my paternal grandfather died of pancreatic cancer when I was a little girl. How many countless others of you have also lost friends and family members to this deadly disease? I implore everyone out there to do a little research into their family history, as genetics do play a role. Knowing what diseases your relatives have battled can give you a better idea what you might face, and what you should screen for. My grandmother (and several other more distant relatives) have died from skin cancer, therefor I need to take special notice of any discolored skin or moles.
But don't stop with your family history. Until my mother found out that she had breast cancer, there wasn't one other relative in my family tree that showed any signs of it. And yet, when she went in for her yearly check up, her doctor noticed a lump and did a biopsy that showed Stage 1 breast cancer. Getting checked out once a year saved my mother's life, and it could save yours too.
There are also tests now that can check for genetic risk factors in regards to cancer. For example, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 tests can help women determine the likelihood of breast or ovarian cancer. This might be a good test for anyone out there who doesn't know enough about their family history to determine whether they might be at risk.
So please, take the time to do your homework and get tested, even if it's just once a year. You never know what might be the difference between Stage 1 (treatable) and Stage 4!