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What is the HHQ?

The Health History Questionnaire, or "HHQ" for short, is the main tool for cancer risk assessment. The HHQ collects your family history and medical information. It's very important to complete the HHQ before your visit so that the Risk Assessment Team has all the facts they need to assess your risk.

The HHQ is divided into sections to find out if you have specific risk factors for cancer. The sections are:

Family History

This is a very important part of the HHQ. In this section, you need to gather information about your family members who had cancer including:

  • The type of cancer
  • The age the cancer started
  • If your relatives are still living or have died

The information is needed for your closest relatives: your parents, brothers and sisters, children, aunts and uncles and grandparents. Knowing your family history of cancer helps to find out whether the cancer in your family looks like an inherited pattern. That is why we ask you to try to get as much information as possible about your family history before you come for your visit.

Your Health History

This section has questions about your own health. There are questions about your past and current medical conditions and things in your environment such as tobacco, alcohol and other exposures that influence cancer risk. There is also a section on diet and exercise.

Helpful Tips

Get information from your family before you begin

Call family members who may be able to help with missing information and explain why you are asking these types of questions. Offer to call back if the person needs time. Ask if someone else in the family may know some of the information. You may not be able to get complete information. Understand that sometimes family members might prefer not to talk about the family history. That is okay and we will work with any information that you have.

It's OK to estimate

You might not be able to remember when you had your last colonoscopy or the year grandmom was born. Give your best estimate if you don't know exact dates. For example, if you think someone was about 75 when he was diagnosed with cancer, write in and circle "75". If you don't have an estimate, just write in a question mark (?). If you are completing the HHQ online, you will check the "estimate" box if you are not sure of a date or age.

Have your medical information handy to complete the HHQ

It may help to have your medical records handy when you begin. This will help with dates of your recent screening tests, as well as any reports from biopsies you may have had.