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Cancer affects millions of families and friends. Some can overcome the fight while others, unfortunately, aren’t, and this isn’t due to the lack of trying. Still, due to there not being a cure as there are various types, we all have a different genetic make-up, and there may be several different exposures to chemicals that may have caused a high risk of cancer.
Definition of family history of cancer:
Pere the CDC, your family medical history is a record of diseases and conditions that run in your family, especially among close relatives that include your parents and grandparents. You may share similar genes, habits, and environments that can affect your risk of getting certain diseases, including some cancers.
My personal families story:
I am telling you about this because Cancer Awareness is a very big thing to me and I feel other’s need to be educated more on it.
My mother was diagnosed with cancer shortly after having my twin sister and me with Ovarian cancer. Ovarian cancer used to be hard to test for, but now genetic testing has come so far.
Each year, 20,000 women find out that they have ovarian cancer. The genes most commonly affected in hereditary of ovarian cancer are breast cancer 1 (BRCA1) and breast cancer 2 (BRCA2) genes. About 10% of ovarian cancers (about 2,000 women per year) result from inherited mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.
My mother ended up passing when I was very young at the age of three. Since then, I have grown up only being raised by my father. He did have some help from his parents, and his sister as being a single parent is not easy, especially when you are raising twin girls.
At around the age of 16, I decided I would try to participate and help the American Cancer Society anyway that I could. I have run races for a cause, donated, fundraised, and more. There is so much you can do even now just by being active in your community and being intentional.
At the age of 30, I went and spoke with a geneticist. I learned so much about my family history by talking to her and asking my family even more questions. I learned that on my mother’s side, I had an aunt and grandmother that both had breast cancer but no history of ovarian cancer other than my mother. My family members affected, including myself, have been tested, and none of us presented with a BRCA gene mutation.
There isn’t much of a history of cancer on my father’s side, but there is heart disease.
What can your family history tell me about my risk of Cancer?
Every family has a health history, and it is important to know yours. Your family history provides clues about your chances of getting cancer. It is essential to provide your doctor with your family history as it is the first step to find out if you may be at increased risk. It will also guide you and your doctor in deciding what tests you may need when to start testing, and how often to be tested.
Cancer Awareness by Month with Color:
The ribbon colors are determined by nationally recognized, non-profit organizations that provide support, education, and awareness for individual cancers. Some forms of cancer do not have ribbons yet, but I am pretty sure in due time they will.
Here is a list of some that nationally recognized as of 2019 that I could find:
- Cervical cancer – Teal
- National Cancer Prevention Month – Rainbow
- Gallbladder/ Bile Duct Cancer – Kelly Green
- Colorectal Cancer – Dark Blue
- Kidney Cancer – Orange
- Multiple Myeloma – Burgundy
- Testicular Cancer – Orchid or purple
- Esophageal Cancer – Periwinkle
- Head & Neck Cancer- Burgundy and Ivory
- Melanoma and Skin Cancer – Black
- Brain Cancer – Gray
- Bladder Cancer – Marigold, Blue, Purple
- National Cancer Survivor Month
- Sarcoma/Bone Cancer – Yellow
- Summer Sun Safety Month
- Childhood Cancer – Gold
- Uterine Cancer – Peach
- Leukemia – Orange
- Lymphoma – Lime Green
- Ovarian Cancer – Teal
- Prostate Cancer – Light Blue
- Thyroid Cancer – Teal, Pink, Blue
- Breast Cancer – Pink
- Liver Cancer – Emerald Green
- Pancreatic Cancer – Purple
- Lung Cancer – White
- Stomach Cancer – Periwinkle
- Carcinoid Cancer – White/Back (Zebra)
- Honoring Caregivers
How do I help raise money for the American Cancer Society?
If you would like to donate or raise money for the American Cancer Society, a different way, they have tons of options. I hope you truly can find it in your heart to help even just volunteering and donating a bit of your time.