Your Family’s Medical History (and Future)
The mere act of starting a family can be an act of optimism. It’s a way of saying, “No matter how bad things might be now, I believe that there’s hope for the next generation.” The world can be a troubling place, but seeing life through the eyes of a child is enough to make just about anyone hopeful. It can also make you a bit afraid, though. It’s one thing for a child to have Mother’s eyes and Father’s nose, but it’s another thing entirely for parents to pass down potentially serious medical conditions.
Hearing things like, “Grandpa and Uncle Joe had diabetes” or, “Your sister and dad both suffer from depression” can be useful. It can let you know that there’s a possible family history of those diseases, so maybe you need to watch your sugar intake carefully, or if you’re feeling sad and hopeless lately, maybe you need to go to a doctor and get screened for depression. One of the biggest, scariest, diseases is cancer, though, and parents are understandably disturbed by the possibility that their child might be more at risk of such a scary disease. Some cancers do have a strong genetic component, but not every cancer does. For instance, there’s a lot of publicity about breast cancer. If a woman’s mom is diagnosed with breast cancer, she’s probably afraid for her mom and afraid for herself. The reality, though, is that only about 1 in 10 cases of breast cancer can be attributed to inherited gene mutations. Genetic testing won’t provide you with all the answers, but it can help you figure out if you have a particular gene mutation that makes you more likely to develop cancer. If you have a gene mutation, it may be a path towards making some lifestyle changes that will help you lead a healthier life. But the tests can also be expensive, and there won’t always be a clear answer. Genetic testing isn’t a Magic 8 Ball. Or if it is, sometimes the response is merely, “Reply hazy, try again later.”
Whether or not you obtain clear answers about your genetic risk of getting cancer, going through genetic testing is something that makes people rethink their lives. Some people will decide to really commit to going to the gym three times a week, no matter how tired they are after work. Others will decide to adopt a diet that’s vegetarian or vegan. But people who have children should also look into obtaining life insurance. It’s something just about everyone who has a spouse and kids really needs to explore. There are a ton of ways to find a life insurance quote; start by looking at a site like Our Life Covered. You don’t have to choose a policy from the first place you see. There are multiple types of policies, and not every policy will work for every person. But while life is full of unknowns, obtaining a life insurance policy can provide some much-needed reassurance for the loved ones who would be left behind.