As the holidays approach and as families gather for celebrations together, we invite you to start a conversation about your family medical history. Perhaps a great uncle or aunt passed before you were born, but you aren’t sure why. Maybe your sibling recently had genetic testing, and the results would be interesting for you too. Each family is different, and each family has their own way of passing along health information.
Knowing your family history helps you better understand your own risk for developing all types of medical issues, including pancreatic cancer, and once you know your risk, you can do things to help mitigate that risk, such as quitting smoking, losing weight, or enrolling in a high-risk surveillance program, if appropriate. Put simply, “knowledge is power” (Francis Bacon).
So, as the food is being passed around the table (or perhaps when the plates are being cleared) take a moment to ask about a history of cancer in your family, or any other medical conditions. Starting a conversation around the table today could lead to more holiday conversations in the future.