CANCER TESTING FOR FAMILY MEMBERS
Whilst recent studies show that the majority of cancers are lifestyle induced, there are still those that have a genetic predisposition and can be passed down to family members. It is therefore advised that family members of cancer patients be tested to see if they have inherited these cancer genes. Our team at PAN and SPDT 4 LIFE can organise testing for anyone who wants it. Advances in science have lead to tests that can now detect cancer in the very early stages. Early detection is key – the sooner the cancer is detected, the better the chances are of beating it.
Genetic cancers should not be the only reason family members consider being tested. Many families tend to share common lifestyle factors. Living in the same house in particular, usually means family members share a similar diet and other habits. If that is the case, there is the possibility that if one family member has developed cancer through poor lifestyle habits, then other family members who have a similar lifestyle could also develop cancer.
Age is also a contributing factor. As we age our immune system breaks down making us even more susceptible to cancer, however older family are not the only ones who should be tested. Whilst younger unhealthy people may not show any signs of cancer, they may still have cancerous cells growing in their body. Early detection is key – cancer does not discriminate. (Testing is recommended for persons 15 years and over. )
If cancerous cells are detected in a family member, our caring and compassionate team will be able to advise the family on treatment options and assist with anything else they may require.
EDUCATION – MANUAL
Each patient that comes to SPDT 4 LIFE is given a manual that educates them on what things they should not be doing and what things they should be doing. We stress the point that as most cancers are lifestyle induced – the best way to prevent and fight cancer is to replace cancer-inducing habits with cancer-fighting habits. While we have our patients with us as a captive audience in the hospital, we give them the knowledge and tools to change their life and to be truly healthy.
This manual can be extremely helpful for other family members as well. Firstly, so as they can educate themselves and have a better understanding of what they can do to prevent cancer and secondly, so as they can better support the patient.
A cancer diagnosis – particularly a terminal diagnosis – can be an extremely difficult and emotional time for patients and their loved ones. Counselling has proven to be of great benefit to many families during this time.
Listening, giving advice and teaching relaxation techniques or coping strategies, are just some of the ways that our compassionate and experienced counsellors can support patients and their loved ones.
This service is available both in China at SPDT 4 LIFE and also in Australia and New Zealand through PAN.