Help Protect You & Loved Ones From Cancer, Heart Disease, Diabetes, Obesity & More

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Why It’s Important To
Know Your Family Health History

 

Everyone has a unique set of inherited traits; maybe you have your dad’s silky black hair or your mom’s beautiful brown eyes. Now medical experts also say that one-third to one-half of your potential health problems may have their origins in your family’s medical history. And they agree that knowing this information will help keep you healthy and could help save your life.

Before you panic, understand that your family history does not automatically imply high-risk. It is very possible that a serious disease in your family is a chance occurrence, affecting your relatives in the same way that it affects the rest of the population and presenting little or no increased risk to you.

But all risk is a matter of degree. You are at greatest risk of getting cancer or other diseases if a first-degree relative has had or has it. First-degree relatives are parents, brothers and sisters and children. Second-degree relatives are grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and half-siblings. Your risk of getting sick from second-degree relatives is much less than your risk from first-degree relatives.

A family tree works for blood relatives only. If you are adopted, you will need to find out the health history of your family of origin, if possible. If not, you can’t go wrong by just practicing healthy habits and Self chec is there to help you.

Create Your Family History Tree

Your choices from two reputable websites:

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services 

NCI National Cancer Institute

Artwork: Bascove