Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 38, Issue 4, April 2009

There’s cancer in the family

Sylvia Metcalfe Kristine Barlow-Stewart Jon Emery
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Patients will sometimes raise the issue of cancer ‘running in their family’ or it may be identified by the general practitioner when enquiring about a patient’s family history.
This article discusses how to deal with concerns about familial cancers including details of the common familial cancer syndromes. It provides further sources of information to use when determining a patient’s risk of cancer based on their family history.
The family history is an important predictor of cancer risk and can be used to tailor cancer prevention strategies and to identify high risk families who may be eligible for predictive genetic testing.

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