Gather Your Family History

Before you meet with a genetic counselor, it's important to know as much as you can about your biological relatives' health history as it relates to cancer.

Speak with your relatives. Include your biological grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, siblings and children. If you are adopted, your adoptive parents or adoption agency may have information on your biological family's health history.

Write down:

  • Who has had cancer and how they’re related to you
  • What type of cancer they had
  • How many relatives had the same type of cancer
  • Their age at diagnosis (when they developed cancer)
  • Their age at death (if applicable)
  • Their ethnicity (countries of origin)

You may be asked to send this information to your genetic counselor prior to your appointment.

The National Cancer Institute has a tool you can use to create and print your family's health history. You can also fill out this Cancer Family History Questionnaire.


Concerned that hereditary cancer might run in your family?

Or search a nationwide database