Background 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.
Objective 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.
Discussion 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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