DNA and illness

I’ve been meaning to do a post about 23andMe for a month now and just not getting around to it.

A couple of months ago, Bobby read The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee. I actually just finished this book a few weeks ago. In this book, they talk about cancer risks, along with a lot of other cancer related topics. The book is amazing, although it is sort of depressing in a lot of places, because (as you might expect) in the history of cancer, a LOT of people die of cancer.

Early identification of cancer can be helpful, and there are some cancers with a genetic component, as in, your DNA makes you higher risk. And there are DNA tests that can be done. 23andMe does these tests, and Bobby and I decided to have ours checked.

Let me start out by saying that I do recommend the service. 23&me also helps with genealogy, and they do this neat thing where they tell you how you are related with other people who have also used their service. It’s also great if you are planning to have children, as it indentifies what you are a carrier of, so you can avoid some of the genetic testing or at least be aware of your risk factors. It also tells you your risk for other disease’s, such as Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, Alcohol Dependence, Breast Cancer, Gout, Lupus, Celiac’s, and many others.

The results are informative and useful. For example, I’ve always figured I’d have breast cancer. I mean, I’m not sure why I had that idea. I know part of it is that my Great Aunt had it, and it killed my Grandma Eve. I’ve also been told, by non medical professionals, that the erm, size of my bust increased my odds. It rattled around in my head to the point where I just knew I’d get it. I thought for sure that I’d have the gene that would put me in a high risk category. I don’t. I actually have a slightly decreased risk!

I’m showing a significant risk an illness in my eyes. This is a little frightening, but there are things I can do to lower my risks from the non genetic front, such as having good blood pressure, and possibly wearing sunglasses. Also, I know to look for symptoms and get tested. This is handy, to know what I’m genetically pre-disposed to look out for.

Overall, I really love the site, I really think the information is something everyone should have. I highly recommend

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Crystal
    Apr 21, 2011 @ 10:08:14

    I know Cancer or a car is going to get me eventually, my entire family seems to die of some form or cancer later in life.

    Reply

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