Knowing your family medical history could save your life

WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) – How much you do or don’t know about your family medical history could save your life one day.

National Family History Day is Nov. 25 and it is a reminder that as you spend time with your family this week for Thanksgiving, you should know what health risks are in your lineage. Aspirus offers genetic counseling services that can help you determine your own personal inherited health risks or those of other family members, and learn how personalized medicine can impact your health.

“This isn’t like one of those DNA kits you send in to learn your family ancestry,” says Aspirus Genetic Counselor Victoria Ballard. “We’re looking at a specific panel of genes to see if there are any potential issues.”

Genetic counseling services are commonly used to determine a person’s risk for developing or passing on inherited cancer, heart, pediatric, and prenatal-related conditions.

A genetic counselor, such as Victoria, can help you find your chance of getting certain diseases, decide if a genetic test is right for you, and teach you how to know your genetic makeup which in turn helps you with disease prevention or management so you can make more informed decisions about your health.

“The more information we can get, the better,” says Victoria. “This is one of the many great tools Aspirus has to improve the lives of our patients.”

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