Sunday, February 2, 2014

Known Steuer Extended Family Medical Conditions

Over the years I have had several people contact me in regards to their (or their child’s) medical condition and if any other family members may have it. They are trying to find out more about this condition, where it came from, ie hereditary or not hereditary, from their direct Steuer line, from their other direct family line or if anyone in the extended family also has this same condition. This information is NOT made public. I just want to be able to help family members that ask me about specific ailments.

Some family members who are planning to have a family are concerned about the possibility of passing on a genetic trait to their offspring. Currently, Carrier Identification includes genetic tests for Tay-Sachs, cystic fibrosis and sickle-cell. Other family members may wish to be tested if the family shows a history of a specific disease such as breast cancer or Huntington's Disease and if a genetic disorder could be improved by early diagnosis. I will mention cause of death, if it is known and any medical conditions known of those who have already passed.

Now there are more people having genetic testing to find out if they have a genetic condition or disorder that is likely to develop a disease based on his or her genetic makeup. I currently know about the following existing medical conditions in my extended Steuer family:

*       Heart problems
          Mitral Valve Prolapse
Retinitis Pigmentosis – both parents must be carriers
Failing Memory
Gliomatas Cys (cysteines)
Mental Retardation
Multiple Sclerosis
Scarlet Fever
*       Breast Cancer
*       Colon Cancer
*       Pancreatic Cancer
*       Prostrate Cancer
*       Throat Cancer
*       Brain Tumor

Cancer is a disease of abnormal gene function. An abnormal change in a gene is called a mutation. It’s possible to be born with healthy genes and some of them can become mutated over the course of your lifetime. These mutations are not inherited and known as sporadic or somatic. Sporadic mutations cause most cases of cancer. These mutations usually are caused by things that we are exposed to from our environment, including cigarette smoke, hormones, radiation, and diet. We have a higher risk of cancer as we get older due to a build-up of more gene mutations. 

When someone has inherited an abnormal copy of a gene, their cells already start out with one mutation. This makes it all the easier (and quicker) for enough mutations to build up for a cell to become cancer. That is why cancers that are inherited tend to occur earlier in life than cancers of the same type that are not inherited. 

Cancer in a close relative, like a parent or sibling, is more cause for concern than cancer in a more distant relative. The chance of passing on cancer to you gets lower with more distant relatives, even if it was from a gene mutation. There is also more concern if you have it on both sides of your family. A woman who has a mother, sister, or even a daughter with breast cancer is about twice as likely to develop breast cancer as a woman without a family history of this cancer. Most cases of breast cancer ‘though are not part of a family cancer syndrome caused by an inherited gene mutation, even those found in close relatives.

“The chance that someone has an inherited form of breast cancer is higher the younger they are when they get the cancer and the more relatives they have with the disease. Inherited breast cancer can be caused by several different genes, but the most common are BRCA1 and BRCA2. Inherited mutations in these genes cause hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome (HBOC). Along with breast and ovarian cancer, this syndrome can also lead to male breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, as well as some others. This syndrome is more common in women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent than it is in the general US population.” [American Cancer Society]

Those of you who want to be proactive in in your health, you may want to read about Dr Johanna Budwig.

If you or someone in your direct line has a medical condition, please let me know. This information could help someone else in our extended family.


  1. Hi. I discovered your blog because it matches the search terms "Krantz" and "Kherson", but you don't say whether your Krantz ancestors were in Kherson or elsewhere. My great-grandfather Aaron Krantz was born (probably) in Kherson, in 1877ish; his father Benjamin came from Constantinople. Could we be connected, do you think?

    Please reply to the address at (I'm not writing it directly, or it'll get harvested by spambots!), and I can provide you with more information.

  2. BTW - It was very interesting to find your mention of Steuers from Cleveland emigrating to Brazil.

    One of the most remarkable things about Art Steuer was his chronic disease. He had Marie-Strumpell's Osteospondalitis. The ankylosing spondalytis began in his sacrum long before I met him. He claimed it was caused by the stress and disappointment of Art Jr's mother declining his offer to marry her and denying him access to the child.

    The disease progressed up his spine until the time that I met him when he needed outside assistance to transfer from bed or from a chair. His spine was ankylosed into a slightly spiraled hunch. His fused thoracic spine limited the range of motion of his arms so that he could only lift them enough to comb his hair.

    Once on his feet, Art could walk long distances. He had a cane made from a spirally twisted tree finished in a dark color. He was a most impressive sight when he lumbered into anywhere, all bent over and twisted with his twisty stick and looked up at you drilling with his dark eyes.

    Here is an interesting story. After exhausting the extent of Western medical treatments to cure his spinal condition, we sold everything and left for India searching for a miracle cure. We went from one guru to another asking for a miracle cure. One of these gurus was a Tibetan Lama that lived in the foothills of the Himalayas. We had Sudharma at the time. We parked the car at the side of the road, packed a Nepali carrying basket, and the 3 of us set off up the path to the Lama's house. Art needed a hand to navigate over uneven paths. The walk took all day. I had to walk 200 ft, put down the baby and carrying basket, then go back and get Art. I carried him up that path mounted on my back. I'd get Art up to where the baby was, and then carry the baby ahead another 200 ft where I would leave her and go back and get Art. When we finally arrived at this small mud thatched hut, the view of the Himalayas was spectacular. The Lama's wife, Lamu, came out to greet us. It was established that the Lama had gone to town shopping and his return was unknown. So we waited 3 days there, and still, the Lama didn't return.

    Lamu quickly ran out of food to feed us. I recall she had nothing else to cook except for ginger root, and the final day, she made ginger root curry. She also hauled all the water for us, 3 extra people. There was a spring about 1/4 mile away along the ridge and down a short path. I felt guilty that she had to haul my water, so I went to the spring with my own 5gal bucket to haul some back. Lamu carried 2, 5-gal cans each time she brought water. I couldn't even carry that one bucket 100 ft. I was out of breath and exhausted in no time. Lamu had to come back and get it for me. How embarrassing!

    After 3 days, we gave her 100 Rupees for all the trouble we caused, and headed back to the car. Downhill, I recall, was a lot easier.