Updating Family History of Cancer is Necessary

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Family history important to analyze the risk

One of the most important methods to determine the risk of an individual suffering from cancer is through his/her family history. This is especially true to identify your riskiness to cancers, such as breast, prostate, and colon cancers. Now, a study has found that intimating your doctor about any family member who has a history of cancer between thirty and fifty years is important. This information can provide life-saving modifications in the time and method by which you are assessed.

Informing the physician changes the perspective

Family history in diagnosing cancer is important because it provides the physician with the information on the probability of an individual contracting certain kinds of cancer. Being aware of the age at which the family member is diagnosed with cancer and the stage of the cancer is important. When a close relative has a history of a certain kind of cancer, the chances of you contracting the cancer increases by two to six times. Therefore, informing the physician will change the perspective of the doctor and may help to detect the cancer early on.

The study

The study was reported in the July issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The research included adults who had a personal or family history of some kind of a cancer. Alternatively, individuals who were registered with the Cancer Genetics Network were included in the research. The changes in family history happen throughout the adulthood of an individual. However, the risk increases at the age of fifty years for breast and colorectal cancers, and at sixty years for prostate cancer. The recommendations showed that high-risk screening increased by 1.5 to 3 times for breast and colorectal cancers between the ages of thirty and fifty years, which is based on the changes in the individual’s family history.

Updating family information important

It is vital that individuals update their physicians on any changes that occur in the family history for cancer. This will modify the method in which the physicians will screen you to determine your risk profile to contract the disease. Moreover, certain medications are available that reduce the riskiness of those individuals who are considered as high-risk.

Keeping abreast is doctor’s responsibility

Keeping track of the patients’ family histories is the responsibility of the physician. The information must be updated during each visit to stay on top of the disease. However, it is equally important for physicians to act on the available information to reduce the chances of patients contracting the disease.