As families connect in various ways on this Thanksgiving Day, whether they do so in smaller groups of persons only within their households or via video chat services due to the spikes in the Covid-19 virus, the Surgeon General of the United States has sought fit to declare today National Family Health History Day. It is a “reminder to assess health risks for illnesses known to run in families-like high blood pressure, diabetes and cancer.” This year, the focus is specifically on colorectal cancer.
According to the New England Cord Blood Bank, there are several other reasons for this important initiative. Some of these reasons are:
- Some illnesses skip generations so it is important to have an idea at these family gatherings if someone in a generation removed may have had a disease or a condition that may affect a future generation.
- Cord blood is an effective treatment for several diseases and disorders. Knowledge of your family history may influence your decision to store your baby’s cord blood for stem cell use for any possible future complications you may anticipate.
The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), encourages us all to not only record our family health history, but to also act upon that information by sharing it with our healthcare providers and getting the necessary screenings. Knowledge of certain conditions can also lead to lifestyle changes to prevent the onset or progression of disease. Such information can save lives. The CDC encourages you to ask certain questions during your family Zoom call today such as, “Did your mother, father, brother, or sister have colorectal (colon) cancer before age 50? If the answer is ‘yes,’ you are more likely to get the same disease as your parent or sibling and should consider earlier screening.”
Discuss your family health history with your healthcare provider and evaluate your risk factors. To schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider at any of our convenient Primary Medical Care Center community clinics, you may visit our website at www.primarymed.com, or call (305)751-1500 for our Miami-Dade clinic, or (954)289-0000 for our Broward clinic.