Family Health History

Did you know your family’s health history can affect your risk for certain diseases like cancer or diabetes? Family members share not only their culture, lifestyle behaviors and environment but also genes that may be risk factors. It is important to collect your medical family history from relatives, write it down and share with your healthcare provider. Family history can be used to estimate the risk of having an inherited disorder (a condition that is passed from parent to child). If risk factors are found, lifestyle changes, screening or other interventions may reduce the risk. For more information on family health history, check out the resources below.

Highlighted Resources

Family Health History Fact Cards

Fact cards focusing on promoting sharing and knowing family health history, targeting topics such as: asthma, cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

MDHHS Cancer Family History Guide

This Cancer Family History Guide gives healthcare professionals an easy, helpful way to determine if a patient needs a referral for genetic counseling or increased screening for hereditary breast and ovarian cancers and Lynch syndrome.

Developing Evidence: The Value of Family Health History

Webinar presented by Dr. Lori Orlando (Duke University) on family health history and MeTree, a "patient-facing family health history-based risk assessment and clinical decision support program." November 14, 2016

My Family Health Portrait

This web-based tool from the Surgeon General makes it easy to track, save and update family health history.

US Surgeon General's Family Health History Initiative

This initiative focuses on the importance of family history and encourages all American families to learn more about their own histories and provides a Family History Portrait Tool to track and share this information among family members.

Additional Resources

Cancer Family History Guide Instruction Card

This instruction card describes the use of the MDCH Cancer Family History Guide guide which is designed to identify patients at increased risk for one of two hereditary cancer syndromes: Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer syndrome (HBOC) and Lynch syndrome.

Cancer Genomics Resources Order Form

Order these great informational MDCH cancer genomics resources including; family history fact cards, the cancer family history guide and informed consent booklet.

Creating a Clinical Risk Assessment Tool to Promote Cancer Genomics

A summary presentation of the creation of MDCH's Cancer Family History Guide. This unique clinical decision tool aids providers in collecting, assessing, and performing a quick risk assessment for cancer family history.

Family History Benchmarks for Michigan Teachers

The Family History Benchmarks for Michigan list ways to explain topics pertaining to family history providing key concepts to define and real-world contexts to help clarification.

MDHHS Cancer Genomics Epidemiology

Through public health surveillance, health education of providers and policy interventions with health insurance plans the impact of this MDHHS program is to reduce early cancer deaths in Michigan residents.

Michigan Cancer Consortium

MCC, a group of public, private and voluntary organizations committed to reducing the human and economic impact of cancer in Michigan, provides a forum for collaboration among its members to improve cancer outcomes for Michigan residents.

November 2012: Michigan Family Health History Month

This proclamation by Governor Snyder declares November 2012 as family health history month in Michigan.

Promoting Cancer Genomics Best Practices through Surveillance, Education and Policy Change in the State of Michigan, 2008-2011

The MDCH Genomics Program is working towards identifying and promoting cancer genomics best practices for clinical and public health practice.

Public Health Genomics Resources Order Form

Order these public health genomics resources from the MDHHS Birth Defects Prevention and Newborn Screening programs with additional information on genetic counseling and family history.

Using Family History: Legal and Ethical Considerations

Guest PowerPoint presentation in April 2007 at the Michigan Cancer Genetics Alliance (MCGA) membership meeting.

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