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The Cancer Risk You Don’t Know About

Date:01-08-2013 07:50:14 read:4
Category:Man-->Diseases

Ask your doc to see the family records.

Cancer run in your family? Read this: Researchers looked at 12,000 cancer patients over 18 years and found that people who had first-degree relatives with a history of one type of cancer were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with a different kind, according to a new report in the Annals of Oncology.

“Some of the associations [we found] are probably due to shared environmental factors or lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking,” says study author Eva Negri, M.D., of the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan. However, when researchers controlled for some of those factors they still found a link, which means certain genes could influence the risk of cancer at multiple sites, Dr. Negri explains.

These findings can help researchers I.D. those genetic links down the road and improve screening and diagnosis for different types of cancer based on your family history.

For now, your best bet at preventing the deadly disease is to stick to screening recommendations. If cancer runs in the family, discuss with your doctor the possibility of starting screenings at a younger age, since your risk may be even higher. Certain tests, such as those below, may be covered by insurance before the recommended screening age when you’re considered high-risk.

PSA testing: At least 29 states have enacted laws requiring insurers to cover PSA testing for men starting between the ages of 40 and 50, depending on the state. Some states require testing be covered for guys as young as 35 to 40 who are considered high-risk, including African Americans and those with a family history.

Colonoscopy: If you have a first-degree relative who has had colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps, many insurance companies cover colonoscopies as frequently as every 2 years starting at age 40, or 10 years younger than the earliest diagnosis in your family—whichever comes first.

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