Update Family History of Cancer

If someone in your family has cancer, your risk increases as well. But there is something you can do about it.

Tell your doctor.

He, or she, may recommend an early or frequent schedule of screenings.

New research published this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that more people would qualify for aggressive cancer screening if they update their family’s cancer history every few years.

Researchers focused their analysis on colorectal, breast and prostate cancer because screening guidelines are influenced by family history. They analyzed data from the Cancer Genetics Network, a registry of more than 11,000 people who had cancer or are related to someone who did.

Researchers concluded that patients between the ages of 30 and 50 need to update their family history of cancer every five to 10 years. If someone in the family has cancer, doctors will want to know the primary site of the cancer and how old the relative was when it was found.

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Source: Journal of the American Medical Association

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