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Use Cancer Risk Check, Improve Your Doctor Visit

Focused on Health - July 2011

By Adelina Espat

cancer risk check doctorDon’t short-change your health by racing through your next check-up. If you don’t fully communicate your concerns, your doctor won’t be able to take care of all your needs.

But knowing exactly what to bring up can be a challenge. Cancer Risk Check
MD Anderson’s online, interactive tool, can help.

All you need to do is complete the online questionnaire. After you have responded to all the questions, you’ll receive personalized feedback about your chances of developing cancer. This information will provide you a great starting point for a meaningful discussion about your health.

Below are ways to use Cancer Risk Check to get the most out of your next doctor’s visit.

Ask your doctor about questions you can’t answer.

You may not know all the answers on the questionnaire. Or, you may not understand the options listed under some questions.

Write down the questions or answer choices you don’t understand, or, print out the entire questionnaire. Then, take them to your appointment and ask your doctor about the parts you don’t understand.

Doing this activity may help you and your doctor learn more about your health history and how it affects your cancer risks.

Use your results to start a list of questions.cancer risk check doctor

After completing Cancer Risk Check, you’ll get suggestions for lifestyle changes you should make to lower your cancer risks. This may include specific diet or exercise recommendations. You’ll also learn about screening exams you should get based on your gender, age and health history.

Write down any questions you may have after reading your results. Keep a print-out of your report and questions to go over with your doctor.

At your next appointment, ask about scheduling the screening exams on your list. Then, discuss the recommended lifestyle changes. Your doctor can offer additional suggestions on ways you can further improve your health.

Find out how to prepare for your next appointment.

Some people are more likely to develop cancer because they have a family history of the disease. Cancer Risk Check can help you learn what information to gather from close relatives who have had cancer so you understand your family or genetic risks. Sharing this information can help your doctor decide if you are more likely to develop the disease.

If Cancer Risk Check helps improve your next doctor’s appointment, suggest it to a friend or family member. Send them one of our health e-cards, and show you care. 

Take Cancer Risk Check at www.mdanderson.org/riskcheck.

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