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Cancer Misdiagnosis & Family History – What You Need To Know

Our family history contains information about diseases and conditions in your family. You may have genes, habits, or environments in common with your family members that could increase your chance of developing cancer. Watch the video below to learn more about cancer misdiagnosis in relation to your family history and genetic testing options and much more.

More information about Family Health History and Cancer

Cancer Misdiagnosis and Family History: What Information Do I Need?

Collect information about yourself and relatives that are related to your blood.

  • Parents and grandparents.
  • Aunts and uncles
  • Sisters and Brothers
  • Nieces and nephews
  • Children.

Information should include:

  • Which people had cancer? What kind of cancer did they have?
  • What age were they when they were first diagnosed with cancer?
  • Are they still alive? If they are not still alive, what was their cause of death and at what age?

Cancer Misdiagnosis and Family History: How Do I Collect Family Health History Information?

Ask your relatives about your family’s history of cancer during family gatherings. Ask your family members to fill in the gaps and confirm what they remember. It would help if you also looked at any family records, death certificates, and obituaries.

Cancer Misdiagnosis and Family History: Are You At A Higher Risk Of Getting Cancer?

You may be at higher risk if you have a history of colorectal, ovarian, breast or ovarian cancer.

Tell your doctor if–

  • An individual who was diagnosed with colorectal, breast or uterine cancer in a relative before the age of 50.
  • One or more family members were diagnosed with colorectal, breast, or uterine cancer.
  • An ovarian cancer diagnosis was made in a female relative.
  • A male relative was diagnosed as having breast cancer.
  • An Ashkenazi or Eastern European ancestor is you.

Tell your doctor everything about your family history to determine if you are at higher risk of developing cancer. This information could be used to help you and your doctor determine what tests are needed to screen for cancer and when and how often you should have them done. You and your doctor can also use this information to help you decide if genetic counseling/testing is right for you.

What Is Genetic Counseling And Testing?

Your family history may suggest that you might have a genetic mutation. Your doctor can refer you to genetic counseling.

genetic counselor helps you determine if genetic testing is right for you. Genetic testing uses saliva or blood to examine your DNA. The test looks for DNA changes, also known as mutations. It can help you determine if you are at higher risk than most people.

What Should I Do If I Have A Genetic Mutation?

A genetic mutation does NOT mean that you will develop cancer. There are things you can do to reduce or manage your risk of developing cancer. Talk to your doctor about

  • Screening Tests. It is possible to get testing sooner and be tested with more tests or different than others.
  • Surgery or medicine could lower your risk of developing cancer.
  • Making healthy decisions such as quitting smoking, drinking alcohol, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight.

What Hereditary Conditions Increase My Chances Of Getting Breast Cancer?

Multiple hereditary conditions may increase your chance of developing cancer. Hereditary breast cancer and ovarian carcinoma (HBOC) are two of the most common. Lynch syndrome is also a common one.

  • HBOC syndrome people are at greater risk of developing breast, ovarian, and high-grade prostate cancers.
  • Lynch syndrome people are at higher risk of colorectal, cervical, and ovarian cancers.



Learn More:

Cancer Misdiagnosis For Common Cancer Types – What You Can Do

Proving A Cancer Misdiagnosis Claim – Commonly Misdiagnosed Types Of Cancer

Cancer Misdiagnosis



Video Transcript

Good afternoon. Bill Hinnant here, a physician and attorney on behalf of I appreciate you tuning in today; we’re here to try to answer your questions about medical and legal matters and provide good, reliable answers, as well as a source of information and service to you if we can benefit you in your healthcare journey.

One of the worst things that can happen to you in today’s world is that you be a victim of medical negligence, that is, that you’re a victim of carelessness in the healthcare setting such that you’re damaged. Perhaps you lose function, have a long-term chronic condition, miss work, or maybe you’re not even able to work anymore, or of course, most critically, you want to remain alive. You don’t want to lose your life; you don’t want a family member to lose their life.

I was asked a question about family history in cancer cases. Family history is critically important because many tumors are known to be related to genetic predisposition. Sometimes even at the chromosomal level, specific mutations in certain chromosomes correlate very closely to the possibility of an individual developing a particular type of cancer associated with those genetic abnormalities.

Often these are screened for, and sometimes they’re not, but your family history, particularly in your first-degree relatives, which means your parents and siblings, is critical. Suppose you have a chronic disease or malignancy in your family with solid penetrance and significant frequency. In that case, it’s essential many times that you be screened before the disease occurs. Your doctor considers your history and obtains specific lab testing to determine if you may have this tumor.

Many of you may be aware that in women, in particular, there’s a critical chromosomal marker for the presence of breast cancer. Suppose you’re a woman whose mother, grandmother, or sister had breast cancer. In that case, it’s crucial not only that you be appropriately treated if you’re ever diagnosed with that tumor but also that you be screened appropriately.

So it’s vital that you provide your doctor with a good family history and that they then recognize when you’re at an age where you may be at risk for that particular disease, or age may have nothing to do with it. You may be at risk based on your chromosome or your genetic history.

Again, if you have a strong family history, mention it to your doctor. If you do that and it’s playing on its face, and you aren’t appropriately screened, you may have an action at law, a lawsuit that could potentially be valuable to you. It’s bad enough to be diagnosed with any illness, particularly cancer, but it’s even worse when you weren’t treated appropriately or worked up properly to start.

At LawMD, we’re aware of these particular clinical scenarios. We can help you analyze those situations and determine if you should have been screened appropriately and whether you may have been the victim of medical negligence. We hope that never hits you, that you’re never in that particular scenario, but if you are, please let us know if we can help. We’re certainly here to try. We appreciate you getting in touch with us. If we can be of service, remember, that’s Thank you.