Your lifestyle, genetics, & personal and family health history all impact your cancer risk. Up to 10% of breast cancers are hereditary – meaning you may share risk with your family. That’s why it’s so important to know your HERstory.
If accessing your HERstory is difficult or impossible because of adoption, death, or other family events, know that there are other options for you. Skip ahead to #7 below for what you can do to better understand your risk.
One of the best ways to prepare is to have all of your questions in front of you. Download the #LMG HERstory worksheet to use as your guide! Scribble, make notes, draw it out—whatever helps you remember the important bits. Sticky notes encouraged.
No one knows your people like you do. Sometimes dredging up family history can get messy. Maybe one of the aunts feels self-conscious about her recent diagnosis, or Gram isn’t ready to talk about Grandpa’s passing yet.
Ask questions with a spirit of trust & empathy. Remember, this might take more than one conversation!
So you’ve rallied your family to the kitchen table and your worksheet is ready in front of you. But all anyone knows is that Dovey had the C-word and Uncle Rick doesn’t really want to talk about this while the game is on anyway. This is a process–it’s okay if it’s messy. You might need to have multiple talks or do some digging to get a full family health history. Don’t be discouraged or worried if you can’t answer every question. You took a big step towards protecting your gurls just by showing up to the work. That’s pretty badass in our book.
Does your family talk enough about health? Most families don’t, so this may be a new topic of conversation for everyone. We know getting started is the hardest part. You could try: “Did you know that breast cancer is worse for Black women? Knowing our family health history helps me better understand my risk. And knowing all of our risk could help protect me and the whole family. Can we talk about it together?” *talking ‘bout my gurls*
No matter what your family health history looks like, we have resources to support you and your gurls. From genetic testing to how to talk to your doctor, we’re here to answer your questions. DM us or email us anytime!
Thank you for helping us make sure For the Love of My Gurls is doing what it set out to do – educate, equip and empower women like YOU to prioritize #BlackBreastHealth.
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