It is important to know your family health history

This is a message that we think bears repeating. A key factor in taking care of your health is to know your family history. We just closed out Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and have entered Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Both cancers can have a genetic component and may run in families. However, just because a family member may have ovarian or breast cancer does not mean that other relatives will and, conversely, a lack of a family history does not you (male or female) are immune. Research shows that there can potentially be a family connection between testicular cancer and ovarian cancer, so it is important to know as much of your family history as possible -not just that of the members of the same sex.

Follow this link to a basic health history form that will provide some guidance. You can also create a family history that you can easily share by visiting the CDC’s “My Family Health Portrait.” Feel free to use this as a basis for discussion within your family. If you are a parent, do your children a favor and keep a health history- yours, your spouse, and both the maternal and paternal grandparents – for them.