Long Live You: When it comes to cancer, know yourself

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Select Cancer Screening Key to Optimal Health

Knowing ones cholesterol level and the delicate, intricate dance among the LDL and HDL balance in a patients heart and cardiovascular health have come a long way in less than 20 years. Cholesterol levels are among frequent topics of casual conversation even between strangers. 

Now the time has come to know your cancer risk as intimately and fearlessly as you understand and act upon (or not) your cholesterol level.

With Breast Cancer Awareness Month coming up in October, its a good time to learn about a few tools in your optimal-health tool kit that are little used and should be in the right situations.

There are several cancer tests that are widely embraced by the mainstream medical community and are integral to most high-end concierge personalized, optimal wellness regimes.  

Not everyone needs every test, and you and your doctor should determine if and when they should be administered. Assessing your cancer risk does not mean you will get cancer, but it does help you and your healthcare team direct your efforts and fight cancer before it starts.

Ask your doctors about tests that could determine your profile for cancers of the following: bladder, breast, cervix, colon, kidney, lung, ovary, pancreas, prostate and uterus.

Not All Cancer Tests Are Recommended

You and your doctor will determine what tests might be appropriate for you. Not all tests are necessary and might be considered wasteful if administered without justification, such as family history, inconclusive test results or other factors specific to your situation. 

So You Know Your Risk Now What? 

A heated debate swirls around what to do with information about an increased (or decreased) risk for certain cancers. The choice is yours and only yours. 

Possessing a potential predisposition to a certain cancer risk does not mean you will contract that disease. There are factors that are proven to reduce risks. Diet, exercise, stress reduction, proper sleep, clean water and air, and a regime of carefully, professionally monitored supplements and pharmaceuticals have also been shown to have an impact on whether your bodys immunity can fight a cancer cell from developing.  

Becoming an informed patient and taking control of your own wellness including choosing to learn your cancer risk is among the leading-edge strategies we have to help make informed decisions about advanced preventative measures for personalized care. 

Dr. Steinmetz is a board-certified family medical doctor based in Alexandria who uses conventional and integrative practices. She welcomes reader questions at info@caringdoc.com.

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