Genes control everything in your body. Some genes control the color of your hair while others determine how susceptible you are to certain diseases such as cancer, obesity, Parkinson's disease, alzheimer's disease and more.
Genes are specified sequences of DNA and everyone has variations in their DNA sequences that make them different from everyone else. Some of these variations allow cancers and other diseases to occur much easier than normal. The individuals with the appropriate genes are at a much higher risk for the disease that other people.
Presently, there isn't anyway to tell which individuals have a higher risk than others except by looking at relatives. You received half of your genes from your mom and half from your dad, and each of your parents received half of their genes from their mom and half from their dad, and so on. So by looking at whether your family members have had certain diseases it is possible to predict what your chances are of getting the disease. There are specialists who you can visit and they can tell you what your chances are of developing a disease. These people are called Genetic Counselors.
To go to our lesson on genetics click here.
To learn more about Genes and their diseases click here.