As Mother’s Day draws near, there is another important upcoming holiday to celebrate that puts the focus on Mom as well as all the other important women in our lives: National Women’s Health Week. This national awareness campaign, which begins annually on Mother’s Day, is aimed at empowering women to lead healthier lives by providing them with tools to make active changes. As a genetic counseling and testing practice specializing in prenatal and cancer genetics, promoting women’s health is of the utmost importance to us. Although your genes will never change, being informed about your genetic health is one of the ways you can participate in making decisions about reproduction and your future health.
We suggest that if you are planning a pregnancy or have recently become pregnant, now is a great time to meet with a genetic counselor and discuss reproductive genetics. Educating yourself on the available options for prenatal genetic testing allows you to play a more active role in your pregnancy, and a genetic counselor is a valuable source of information on how your genetics can affect your pregnancy.
Genetics can also play a role in decisions you make about your long-term health. Women of all ages need to keep up to date on the recommended screening options for breast, ovarian and other cancers. And for those with a significant family history of cancer, a hereditary cancer risk assessment might be something to consider. Learning if you may or may not be genetically predisposed to develop cancer is an unsettling thing, but knowledge is power! When you educate yourself about your genetics, you create more options for yourself which can contribute to living a longer, healthier life.
So tell your mother, daughter, aunt, sister, cousin, friend or coworker to take a pledge for their health.