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Creating a Family Health History
A family health history can go a long way toward helping you and your family stay healthy for generations to come.
While visiting her obstetrician for a routine check-up, Monica was asked to fill out a new form about her family’s medical history. She recounted an uncle with stomach cancer and another uncle with bladder cancer. In addition, she had a cousin in her late 30s who was diagnosed with colon cancer and another cousin, also in her late 30s, who had breast cancer.
Based on the information Monica provided, her doctor suggested that one of the uncles who was diagnosed with cancer get tested for Lynch Syndrome, a rare inherited condition that increases a family’s risk of colon cancer and other cancers. If the uncle tested positive for the Lynch Syndrome gene, then the doctor recommended other family members get tested, as well.
Monica had never been asked to provide her extended family’s medical history before, so her doctor’s advice caught her completely off-guard. “I didn’t have any perspective on what kind of health issues are common in families,” Monica says. “So an outside viewpoint was helpful.”
Monica’s story is not uncommon. This could be one reason the Surgeon General enacted National Family History Day, which encourages families to set aside time during gatherings to discuss and write down the health problems that are common to them. The Surgeon General has maintained for years that learning about your family’s health history could help ensure a longer, healthier future together.
Man With a Mission
When a client compliments a First Midwest Bank Direct Sales Center team member for providing exemplary customer service, Cornell Lurry calls this a “mission moment.” These moments remind Lurry and his sales team that the commitment they make to their clients—to deliver outstanding customer service tailored to the needs of each individual client—is well worth it.