Check Your Family History for You and the Ones You Love

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Your family's history of past events and life experiences is invaluable. Family medical history is no different.

Cancer in my family medical history includes the loss of a brother to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at the age of 37, and a cousin who is living through it, thanks to advances in medicine over the years. My mother died of melanoma.

My sons' history includes renal cancer, because it claimed the life of their father, featured in Caregiver Chronicles.

judy cancer check.jpgEasy to Do
So, with that in mind, taking MD Anderson's Cancer Risk Check was a simple process. Is there a history of breast or colon cancer? How many fruits and vegetables do I eat daily? Do I smoke? Do I drink? How many drinks per day? How much do I exercise?

Based on my responses, I got personalized recommendations, which suggest changes I should consider making in my daily life.

It's My Choice to Take Action
Because my mother died of melanoma, my check list profile suggests I make frequent visits to a dermatologist. Thankfully, I've already worked in bi-annual visits with Carol Drucker, M.D., an associate professor in the Department of Dermatology at MD Anderson. Exercise already is part of my lifestyle, too. Eating more fruits and vegetables daily is something I need to work on.

Now It's Your Turn
Since you now know the Cancer Risk Check is simple, will you take it?

Therese Bevers, M.D., medical director of the Cancer Prevention Center and Prevention Outreach Programs, recently was quoted in MD Anderson's 2009-2010 Annual Report saying, "We created Cancer Risk Check to be simple to use and to empower people to take actions for a more healthful lifestyle."

And she adds, "Our goal is to have screening guidelines that are a resource. It's what we're doing to keep people from dying of cancer."

So, no doubt you'll take the Cancer Risk Check, especially if you're like me and you only have the memory of the smile, voice or touch of your brother, mother or spouse.

Take the Cancer Risk Check

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