Monday, February 9, 2009

Why Have A Family Medical History Tree?


Family Medical History
Did you know that like the color of your eyes, tendencies from many health conditions are genetically passed from one family member to another? If you have a blood relative with heart disease, your risk for developing it significantly increases. Heart disease can be passed along to younger generations, but so can healthy habits that will help you and others avoid health risks. The more you know about your family’s health history, the more you can do to reduce your risk of heart disease.

My sister and I were talking the other week about family health history. With aging parents, and our own health problems we want to be more informed on our possible genetic health risks. As we were talking, Marsha had told me that she had gone through genealogy information that our brother had prepared. As she was looking she found some very distressing news. Our great-grandmother died from breast cancer. Neither one of us knew the kind of cancer she had when she died. My sister said that she asked our cousin, who has battled and won breast cancer twice, if she knew about this; our cousin screamed on the other end of the phone… ‘NO one said a word!” My sister and cousin both asked their mothers and their response, “Well, it’s just not something you talk about or discuss. It’s private.”

Have you received the same response from your mothers when you ask about family health history? Are you coming up with road blocks when you ask your family about their medical history or past relative’s medical history?

4 comments:

Tammy said...

Interesting - I guess I never thought about family medical history tree. Although my mother usually passes along any information that might be pertinent and so does my father. Unfortunately my maternal grandfather and siblings have all passed away. My father's parents are alive but they are at the stage in life where they do not remember much. Thank you for sharing this today...

He And Me + 3 said...

I think about it when the doctors are asking me and I look at them with a blank stare. I did learn more when I found out that I had Thyroid cancer...you learn that stuff real quick when you are in the midst of a crisis. We are finding out more about hubbies side too.

luvmy4sons said...

I am grateful that I have full access to all pertinent family medical history and being a nurse it helps me sift through what is important and unimportant very well. Thanks for drawing attention to this issue.

Denise said...

Nice post.