Drawing a pedigree of your family history is the first step to understanding your individual risk of disease, and that of your children. Many conditions, such as certain cancers, sickle cell anemia, and cystic fibrosis are hereditary and understanding your family’s medical history can help you determine your risk for certain conditions or even help with early detection. Med City Nurse can create a pedigree to help identify “red flags” in your family’s history, and evaluate potential risk factors, and how to reduce those risks.
If a member of your family has developed a health condition, it does not automatically mean you will also develop it. However, because families share genetics and, often, environments and habits, you could be at a higher risk. A pedigree may help identify risks in your family history so you can reduce the chance of developing a serious condition.
For example, if your relative developed cancer, you may be concerned about your risk for the disease, and how to reduce it. Your care provider will provide guidance regarding screening recommendations using your family history. Risk reduction and engaging in preventative measures to reduce your risk, such as lifestyle changes may also be helpful. Early detection of any developing cancer makes treatments more effective. If your family history is concerning for inheritable disease, a pedigree will assist your care provider in deciding if genetic counseling and genetic testing is indicated.
As a genetic nurse, I can assist you in drawing a pedigree of your family to help paint a more complete picture for your care provider. Any information you provide regarding your medical history or your family’s will be kept confidential and used only to better understand your health. If you are interested in having a pedigree drawn out of your family’s medical history or have more questions about how family history can affect your health, please contact Med City Nurse today. I will be happy to assist.