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Lincoln – While you're giving thanks with your family on Thursday, Nov. 25 - Thanksgiving, as well as National Family Health History Day - consider throwing in a question or two about your clan's health history, along with inhaling the turkey and pumpkin pie and catching up with loved ones.
Even if you don't have a parent or sibling with cancer or diabetes, you might be more likely to get a disease if other people in your family have or had the disease. Knowing your family health history is an important first step.
How to Collect Your Family Health History
If you have a medical condition, such as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, be sure to let your family members know about your diagnosis. If you have had genetic testing done, share your results with your family members. Knowing about your family history of a disease can motivate you to take steps to lower your chances of getting the disease. You can't change your family health history, but you can change unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, not exercising or being inactive, and poor eating habits. Talk with your doctor about steps that you can take, including whether you should consider early screening for the disease. If you have a family health history of disease, you may have the most to gain from lifestyle changes and screening tests.
The CDC offers advice for specific conditions:
We wish you and your loved ones a Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving holiday!