Empower Yourself - Know Your Risks

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An increasing number of genetic risk factors are appearing in the press.  As we learn more about the human genome, we are discovering the genes responsible for a number of diseases.  Some are damaged during our lifetimes; others may be inherited.  When a tiny flaw in one of these genes is inherited, this person has an increased risk of developing a problem.  Exactly how much the risk is elevated is a question for a genetics professional.
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Kidney cancer is rising in the African American community.  An estimated 5% of that is due to genetic risk factors.  If you know you have one of the genetic risk factors for kidney cancer, your chances of surviving kidney cancer are in fact better than the general population.  That risk factor can be used as an early warning system, giving you a much greater chance of early detection and treatment.

Nearly every day we are hearing about newly discovered genetic risk factors for cancer and other diseases.

If a condition seems to run in your family, you may wish to put together a Family Health Tree,  This collection of information can help you see more clearly whether or how the condition may run in the family.  It can also be useful in preparing for a visit with a genetic counselor or geneticist, who can help you interpret this information.

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