20 Seconds of Discomfort Could Help Save Your Life
Living with cancer since 2019
Marc is a Pfizer employee
You’ve probably heard the expression, “sharing is caring.” When it comes to family, maybe that means passing along a secret recipe, a funny story or some advice. Well, it’s even more true when it comes to sharing our medical history with family. That’s because just like hair or eye color, some types of cancer can be passed down from one generation to the next.
Making sure your family members are informed about their risks can help them take action.
Starting the conversation
If you are living with cancer, you’re a great resource for your family members to talk to when they’re starting to collect medical history. From there, they can work their way through the family tree.
Here are some things to share or ask about when talking about medical history:
You and your loved ones may want to keep a log—physical or virtual—to help keep track of this information. You can share this tool from the CDC to help create a Family Health Portrait.
Sharing medical history may lead to proactive changes
It’s important to talk about medical history with your family. Here’s why:
Why it’s important to encourage your family member to inform their doctor
After you’ve answered all your loved ones’ questions and worked your way up and down your family tree, the next stop is talking to a doctor. They can help your loved one make informed decisions and take steps such as:
Sharing medical history isn’t always an easy conversation—it can be vulnerable and even awkward at times. But it’s important, and it may even bring you and your loved ones closer together.
Start the conversation and be proactive through preventative care. Because even though not all cancers are passed down—and the ones that are may never lead to anything—when it comes to our health, there’s no such thing as being too careful.