Having a family history of cancer usually means that more than one close blood relative on the same side of the family has had cancer.
Cancer is a common condition. It is not unusual for more than one family member to develop cancer during their lifetime. Cancer can occur in more than one family member simply by chance or because of lifestyle or environmental factors.
A family history of cancer is caused by a person inheriting a faulty gene that causes an increased risk of developing cancer. The degree to which the risk of cancer is increased due to family history varies depending on the type of cancer.