10 Steps to Figure Out Your Family's Medical History

Here’s what you need to know about gathering your family’s medical history.

10 Steps to Figure Out Your Family's Medical History

You might know a lot about your health, but how much do you really know about the health of your parents or grandparents? Knowing key parts of your family history when it comes to health can help doctors identify diseases you might be at risk for so they can start screening you at the right time. Doing so might just save your life. Here are the 10 steps you need to go through to put together your medical family history.

Share the Information

Once you’ve gathered all of this useful information, you should disseminate it to your parents, spouse and especially your children. This information is especially important for screening tests that doctors do. Knowing that your father had colon cancer at a relatively young age, for example, could mean you need to get a colonoscopy earlier. It can also help with life planning. Knowing that many of the older members of your family have gotten Alzheimer’s in their late 60s can help your plan for that possibility as you age. Finally, it may help doctors to identify the disease underlying new and mysterious symptoms that have cropped up.

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