Know Your Genetic Risk
Your family's health history holds critical clues.
Putting the Family Health History to Use
After you've created your family health history, you can give this
information to your doctor. Mitchell recommends consulting a doctor promptly,
in fact, if your medical history reveals two first-degree relatives (parents,
siblings, or children) with the same cancer or one first-degree relative under
the age of 50 with an illness usually associated with older people, such as
cancer or heart disease.
You can also, of course, share the information with other family members.
And if you continue to update and expand your family tree with new information
as it comes along, it could become a living document, invaluable for future
Claudia Willen writes about environmental issues and is the author of
several books on computer programming. She is based in San Francisco.