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Who does "family history" include? Who does "family history" include?

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Unread 05-16-2001, 08:03 PM
Who does "family history" include?

When we fill out those history forms and they ask if there is a family history of certain types of cancers, who should we be including? Some specifically note mother, sisters, but others do not. Does anyone know?
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Unread 05-16-2001, 09:45 PM
Who does "family history" include?

Hi Em!

My understanding of listing family history is immediate family members, i.e. Mother, Father, Sisters and Brothers. However, I think when informing your physicians of family histories of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc. it would be wise and beneficial to both you and the physician to include grandparents, uncles and aunts. The more information on your family history you can supply your physician with the better they can care for you.

I know when listing my families history I include all that I can, especially given the amount of cancer I have had in my family. In addition to my mother and father, I also list my aunt, all of whom we lost to cancer. In addition, I inform them of my maternal grandmother who passed from Lou Gehrigs disease and now my uncle who had heart disease.

Some physicians may feel its more information than they need but some also appreciate as extensive history as you can supply.

This is just what I have done and been told over the years both as a patient and when working with different physicians.

Hope this helps answer your question to some degree.

Unread 05-16-2001, 10:50 PM
Who does "family history" include?

Hi Vicki,

Thanks for your reply. The reason I asked is really because of the questionaires which help to establish a person's risk factors for certain diseases. Most of them are vague and just say "family history" as one of the factors. I was talking to my sister tonight and she was concerned about her girls' risk factors and whether
MY brush with cervical cancer would be a definite factor for them. If I'm asked verbally, I also mention my maternal aunt and her dtr who both had breast cancer.

It kind of turned into a challenge, but when I looked on the web I found only one site (american cancer society) which included aunts and cousins.....and those relatives were in a separate section of the questionaire. My sister is interested in knowing the correct basis for a risk factor assessment.

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