Thursday, February 15, 2007

Heads Up! Both sides equally relevant in researching AND reporting family health history

A new and important aspect of family health history came out this week, suggesting women may not be thinking about -- or reporting incidents of breast cancer in their father's family. Based on a survey reported in, "Breast cancer: women may be underreporting paternal family history," some women do not seem to know that both sides of the family tree are equally important -- or they are simply underreporting that information. When 800 women were asked about a family history for breast cancer, more women reported the mother's family history for the disease and less for the father's family history for the disease. The results suggest doctors may need to be more specific in asking women about paternal health history, in order to capture that vital information. It was also suggested that men in a family may be less likely to be told of a woman relative diagnosed with breast cancer and, therefore, unable to share that information with his own family. The lesson here for all of us is that both sides of your family health history, regardless of the condition, are equally relevant.

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