Two months ago I posted about how important it is to know when and how your recent ancestors died. At its most basic, if certain diseases run in your family, you can be tested early for those diseases.
The American Cancer Society recommends those without risk factors to have a colonoscopy at age 50. For those with members of the immediate family with colon cancer, it is advised to begin checking 10 years prior to the age of the relative was diagnosed. My maternal grandmother died at age 51.
This morning I had my first colonoscopy, and two polyps were removed. I'm 39. If I hadn't known about my grandmother, and waited until I was 50, there's a good chance I wouldn't have made it.