Family history of cancer can be an important factor for a person’s cancer risk.
Research has shown that about 5% to 10% of cancers have a hereditary component and run in families.
It is important to get to know your family’s cancer risk so that you can start prevention early.
Here, researchers from Michigan Medicine give suggestions about how to collect information about a family’s cancer history.
According to them, there are five things to you should ask to get the information from the first-, second- and third-degree relatives:
Who had cancer?
What type of cancer did they have?
How old were they when that cancer was diagnosed?
Did anyone have multiple cancer diagnoses?
Has anyone had genetic testing?
These questions can help you see the risks of inherited cancers.
You may have a high risk of cancer if:
You have multiple family members who are diagnosed with the same or related types of cancers.
Your relatives are diagnosed with cancer at a young age.
Your relatives have more than one type of cancer.
Someone in your family is diagnosed with rare cancer.
The researchers also suggest that noncancerous health issues in the family should be paid attention to. This is because some inherited cancers can manifest as benign tumors.
So get together such information is also very important.
You can talk to your doctor about all of the family health information.
If you have family members who have previously been diagnosed with a genetic condition through genetic testing, a genetic counselor may help order testing for you for same cancer.
If there is no genetic condition that has been identified, a genetic counselor can perform a full personal and family history assessment to see if you need a genetic test for cancer.
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