Tracking your family health history can help you develop a more effective cancer prevention plan. “We always suggest talking about your history when your family gathers,” says Charis Eng, M.D., chairman of Cleveland Clinic’s Genomic Medicine Institute and director of the Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare. “You can write it down or draw a picture of the family tree, and if a relative isn’t sure about a particular relative, you can follow up.
“The most important things are what’s the diagnosis, age when diagnosis, family history and familial clustering of a disease,” she says. “Or sometimes it’s the way in which the cancer presents. For example, if a family member has been diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, we think there might be BRCA1 or BRCA2 in the family.”
The more you and your doctor know, the better equipped you will be to live a healthy preventive lifestyle and to decide if further gene testing is needed.
Source: Parade magazine 1-28-2018 supplement to The Elyria-Chronicle newspaper Elyria, Ohio article written by Marygrace Taylor
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