and other topics including:
GAMBLING, SPIDERMAN, AND GANDALF THE WIZARD
Let’s talk genetics. No. I’m not gonna talk about some weirdo mutant genetic testing on MONKEYS that makes them revolt against San Francisco. I’m talking about Genetic Testing for Cancer. This is super serious.
The Concerned Bloggers Association has been doing a lot work about self exams, prostate tests, mammograms and everything that is cancer screening related. Genetic Testing is like the BIG MAMMA of cancer screening, but it comes at a price. There is nothing easy about knowing whether you have the gene or not, like Spiderman, with great power comes great responsibility.
First things First.
There are different genes for different types of cancer. So, if you are thinking of doing the more “well-known” testing of BRCA1 and BRCA2 (the breast cancer gene), just know that doesn’t clear you of other types of cancer. AND, even if you don’t have the gene – you MAY still get breast cancer. Having the gene only majorly increases the probability of getting breast cancer. It’s like the worst casino game in the world. Even if the odds are in your favor, the house still wins.
Criteria for Testing.
Here’s the rough list of conditions that would flag you for being a candidate:
1. Family history of cancer: Three or more relatives on the same side of the family with the same or related forms of cancer
2. Early onset: Two or more relatives diagnosed with cancer at an early age
3. Multiple sites: Two or more types of cancer occurring in the same relative
Okay. The family history part of this is super important. So, if you find out there is a strong presence of cancer on both sides of your family, I would seek out an ONCOLOGIST. They are specialists in cancer. Not only will they help you determine if genetic testing is right for you, but they will set up the test itself. Consider them your Gandalf the Wizard to you being a little hobbit. They are tall and mighty, but have a kind heart and a stern word. It’s time to stop fucking around, sorta thing.
In order to have the procedure done, you MUST go through counseling. That’s right. Therapy time. A professional will explain what happens if the results are negative or positive. They are NOT going to pull any punches. If you’ve come this far, it means you’re gonna have to start seriously educating yourself on what’s gonna happen in the future.
Honestly, genetic testing is a huge family decision. It should require family talks, some tears, and a lot of hugs. I found this website by The American Society of Clinical Oncology (cancer.net) and it was a wealth of information. If you’re even CONSIDERING this as an option, please look over the site. Knowledge really is power.
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