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Ecancermedicalscience. 2014 Feb 27;8:408. doi: 10.3332/ecancer.2014.408. eCollection 2014.

Let's talk about genes, and I dont mean trousers: encouraging cancer genetics literacy amongst children.

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Genomics Policy Unit, University of South Wales, Pontypridd, CF37 1DL, UK.


Acquiring genetic literacy is one of the most important things a person can do to promote their own and their family's health. Family history-genetics and the shared environment-is a significant risk factor for cancer as well as other common diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. A good understanding of family health history should increasingly be used to personalise health messages and promote healthy lifestyles. The Let's Talk About Genes project explored whether it was feasible and acceptable to engage young children in Wales with family history as it relates specifically to cancer, so they increase their cancer genetics literacy over time and become more aware of general health issues that relate to cancer.


cancer genetics; children; ethics; family history; health literacy; public engagement

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