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Obtaining Family Histories From Patients With Cancer

Pamela F. Ashcraft
Elizabeth Ann Coleman
Ulrika Lange
Carol A. Enderlin
Carol B. Stewart
CJON 2007, 11(1), 119-124 DOI: 10.1188/07.CJON.119-124

Information obtained from family history data can provide valuable insight into the biologic and environmental etiologies of an individual's personal and family history of disease. The purpose of this article is to provide a brief introduction to cancer genetics and discuss ways to obtain accurate family histories in a time-efficient manner to identify families with a hereditary cancer syndrome. The focus is on gathering family history information, which should be a standard component of the initial intake for any patient and updated regularly to keep the information current.

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