November 26, 2015: Family Health History Day

WHEREAS, a family’s health history is a written record or diagram of family relationships, health conditions, number of close relatives affected by common diseases, and age of diagnosis in affected relatives. It is a useful tool in understanding the risk that related individuals will develop the same disease; and,


WHEREAS, evaluating aspects of family health history information can help identify shared risk factors such as genes, environment, lifestyles and behaviors that predispose a person to common diseases like cancer; and,


WHEREAS, in Michigan, approximately one in nine women has a significant family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer, and would benefit from genetic counseling and consideration of further evaluation for genetic testing; and,


WHEREAS, approximately one in 13 adults has a personal history or at least one immediate relative diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and may benefit from screening for hereditary colorectal cancer; and,


WHEREAS, family health history can help with early identification of individuals who are at risk for breast, ovarian, uterine, colon and other cancers. Timely knowledge of cancer risk, coupled with early screening, genetic counseling and other measures can help prevent cancer, ultimately saving lives; and,


WHEREAS, during this week, in recognition of National Family History Day, we join with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Surgeon General, and Michigan Cancer Genetics Alliance to urge Michigan residents to gather their family health history and discuss it with their health care provider, in order to identify their risk of cancer and take appropriate steps to maintain their good health and that of future generations;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim November 26, 2015 as Family Health History Day in Michigan.