Genome vs Life Style

There’s a big article in the Washington Post today about strokes.

The headline reads, “Strokes are common, but you can avert them”

Reading the piece, the prevention hints are “lower your blood pressure,” “quit smoking,” “trim your waist,” and “drink moderately, if at all,” among others.

These are all good hints for all of us to follow, but it hit me that the same could be said for lowering your risk of cancer too.  As the years have gone by and dieticians have entered the expert field in cancer world, diet has taken on a much bigger piece of the prevention pie.  Life style is part of the prevention picture.  Remember,  experts from the U.S. Agriculture Dept. have just come up with a new food group pyramid too.  In fact, it’s not a pyramid anymore.  It’s a plate. And there are five major food groups, not six or four.  Dairy, Protein, Grains, Fruits and Veggies. 

And don’t forget the exercise.  They can’t put that on the plate, it’s considered a big part of overall health too. 

I know all this makes sense and it’s good advice, but I think back and can’t help but remember a big, healthy, 6-foot-5-inch man in this house, who was the healthiest guy I knew.  Sure he probably would have included chocolate somewhere in those five major food groups, but he was a strong, healthy guy, until cancer came to call.  No question, in Leroy’s case, genetics played a role.

And sometimes, as we all know, you can do all the right things, but if that genome has other plans for your future, there’s not a protein or a vegetable that’s going to make a difference.  It will be what it will be.

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