This holiday season, have your pen and paper ready. The holidays are a perfect time to talk to your family members about their health history. Knowing your family history and sharing it with your doctor is a key step in helping to prevent chronic diseases like cancer, or detect them at their earliest, most treatable stages.
Family history can help determine what screening tests you might need, and when you might need them. I know that I might have to have a colonoscopy sooner than the recommended 50-years of age because of a family history of polyps and colon cancer. Knowing this empowers me to make healthier lifestyle choices, and empowers my doctor to help treat me the best way he can.
My husband and I took our son to his one-year appointment recently, and before the nurse left the room she asked us about our family health history so she could document it in his records. I am thankful for that and grateful my doctor is so proactive.
So as you go around the table this Thanksgiving and say what you're thankful for, throw your health history in there too.
Dawn Spuesens, Mifflinburg