Every person is unique. Your particular genetic blueprint belongs only to you. So why does modern medicine often act like everyone is the same? Scientific research has revealed genetic contributions to many common health problems. Diseases like cancer and heart disease are the leading killers in Canada today. Scientists have discovered that your genetics reveal much about your risk for these diseases – and, more importantly, what you can do to prevent them.
READING THE GENETIC CODE
Your genes can reveal important information. People with a genetic condition called familial hypercholesterolemia, or FH, are at high risk for early heart disease. If it’s not found and treated, this can lead to an early sudden death by heart attack. Finding out that you carry the FH gene allows for treatment to bring your risk down significantly, greatly increasing your chances of living a long life.
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, heart disease and stroke are the leading cause of death for Canadian men, and yet many are not aware of this threat. Many of us know that heart disease is called the “silent killer”. What many don’t know is that half of the men who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Even if you have no symptoms, you may still be at risk for heart disease. Between 70% – 89% of sudden cardiac events occur in men.
Most men have at least one risk factor for heart disease and stroke. The FH Medical team can help you know for sure if you have one or more of the markers for heart disease. In women, changes in certain genes, called BRCA1 and BRCA2, can increase their risk of breast and ovarian cancer. If you’re carrying these genetic changes, then you can take steps now to prevent yourself from developing a deadly cancer. There are also several other genetic tests that can reveal your risk for various cancers. When you know the results, you can choose whether to take medicine or have surgery to reduce your risk. You can also make sure that your lifestyle is tailored to your genetic needs, making any necessary changes to protect your health.
YOUR GENETICS – NOT YOUR DESTINY
Your genetics is not your destiny. When you know what’s in your DNA, you gain the ability to take control of your health, preventing the diseases that lurk in your genes. Because it can be complex to understand what these tests mean and how to respond to the results, it’s best to have plenty of time to discuss the results with your physician, and sometimes with a genetic specialist.
At FH Medical, we won’t leave you feeling needlessly anxious about the results of your tests, with no plans in place to gain control. Instead, you’ll get thorough explanations of what the tests mean and what your options are, and you’ll feel empowered to take charge of your health.
Genetic testing could literally save your life. Don’t take chances. Learn what your genes are telling you, and respond to reduce your risks. As a FH Medical member, you won’t have to wonder what your genes are hiding, and you’ll never have to wonder what would’ve happened if only you’d known.