Thinking about cancer or dealing with cancer risk can be scary or overwhelming, but we believe that receiving information and resources is comforting, empowering, and lifesaving.
Geneticists experts examine a family’s medical history to determine the likelihood that the cancer in the family is hereditary. You can assist them by compiling medical information from relatives on both sides of your family.
Typically a genetics specialist looks at three generations of a family’s medical history to determine if there is a hereditary pattern.
If possible, you should collect the following family medical information for your genetic counseling session:
The more detailed the information, the more helpful it can be. Hospitals are not required to retain records beyond 10 years, but they sometimes have older records available.
It’s equally important to share your medical information with relatives. Request copies of your records and lab reports to keep for your own personal records. A genetics expert can determine which information will be most helpful to your relatives.
You may want to use the FORCE Family History Chart to help you collect and organize information about cancer in your family.