Virginia Commonwealth University

VCU Massey Cancer Center

Family health history resources

Family history is a key ingredient in determining the likelihood of having a particular disease in the future. Every member of your family should have a detailed health history to share with his or her physician. In fact, tracking disease and health patterns could make a huge difference not only for your own life, but for those of future generations. Family history can help your doctor understand your own health problems — and better yet, teach you how to prevent them and save yourself a lot of medical procedures and hospital stays, and the bills that come with it.

Complete this health history form and share with your doctor. (This form was developed, in part, with funding provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through a cooperative agreement with the Virginia Department of Health, award no. U50/CCU321127.)

If you are a parent, fill out the Parent to child family health history form.

Some of the many questions that you will want to ask family members include:

  • What traits run in our family?
  • Do or did any of my family members have a health problem?
  • How old were they when their health problem started?
  • How old were my family members when they died?
  • Why did they die?
  • Were there any miscarriages, stillbirths or babies born with birth defects?
  • Where were my family members born?
  • Did any of my relatives smoke? How much? How long?
  • What other lifestyle habits did my family members have?
  • What types of allergies, reactions to food or medications, did family members have?

Contact the Familial Cancer Clinic at VCU Massey Cancer Center at (804) 828-5116 for genetic counseling services and further information about hereditary cancer risk.