Thanksgiving is Family History Day

  • A complete cancer family history is a key component of precision medicine.
  • A recent study by Solomon et al. demonstrated the inclusion of second-degree family history information resulted in an 81% increase in patients identified for hereditary cancer risk assessment. Additionally, capturing third-degree family history information resulted in an 83% increase in patients identified for hereditary cancer risk assessment.1
  • It is important to incorporate a systemic and standard method of collecting family history for every patient because it can lead to the identification of individuals who would benefit from further risk assessment.2
  • ASCO Recommends that a complete cancer family history include the following.3

  • Family History Day Relatives
  • NCCN recommends capturing 3rd-degree (first cousin, great-grandparent, great grandchild) cancer family history information.4
  • For more information, or to see the original article, please go here.


  1. Solomon, Benjamin et al. Contribution of Extended Family History in Assessment of Risk for Breast and Colon Cancer. Journal of Clinical Oncology 32.5 (2014) Presented 2014 ASCO Annual Meeting (2014):1564
  2. Grover S. et al. Physician Assessment of Family Cancer History and Referral for Genetic Evaluation in Colorectal Cancer Patients. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2004;2:813-19
  3. Lu, Karen H. et al. American Society of Clinical Oncology Expert Statement: Collection and Use of a Cancer Family History for Oncology Providers. Journal of Clinical Oncology 32.8 (2014):
  4. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology v.2.2014 Genetic/Familial High-Risk Assessment: Breast and Ovarian. Accessed at