Unfortunately my family was recently informed by interstate relatives that my Aunt has cancer. I guess I'm not overly sad about it as she's not someone I see often -maybe every few years at Christmas- but still, it's someone you love irrespective of whether or not you keep in touch with them.
Yeah I know, it's a fairly depressing note to start on, but it's what prompted this thread. It seems my family genetics are prone to developing cancer of sorts in our later years in life. My aunt isn't the first and undoubtedly she won't be the last. The three of my grandparent's who've passed on died due to cancer (although arguably my grandfather got it because he was part of the clean-up crew in Nagasaki after the bomb was dropped - no radiation protection), and various other members in my extended family have succumbed to the illness.
I wouldn't say these recent events are a wake-up call as it is much as it is confirmation; I sort of figured it out a long time ago that my family was prone to developing cancer. Aside from my aunt being sick, my biggest concern is limiting the chances of myself developing it later in life. I don't have the best track record of healthy eating, nor exercise, nor living a palatable lifestyle... which I suspect has lowered my defences against becoming ill with disease, but I have been trying to make changes over the past year or so. One thing that that does work in my favour is that is only seems to happen to those who are 50+, which gives me a good 30 years to get on top of things. But in being a realist, you have to consider that it may not always be the case and coincidence might be prevailing.
I figure at the end of the day however, it's all genetics. Just like how people of Pacific Islander descent are highly susceptible to diabetes, my family is the same way with cancer, or another family might have a history of heart and kidney disease. We all inherit genetic disorders or weaknesses to some extent or another.
So in not making this thread so soppy, I ask if anyone else here knows (or figures) if they are prone to certain diseases? Does your family have a history of something that you should probably be working to prevent whilst you're still young? Or even, have you already been diagnosed with a disease?