Analyzing the family history of a patient predicted the risk better for developing certain cancers than genomic screening, a study said.

Researchers led by Dr. Charis Eng, chairman and founding director of the Genomic Medicine Institute of the Cleveland Clinic, found it worked wonders to understand the family history and predict illness such as cancer.

"Evaluation of family health history still remains to be the gold standard in personal disease risk assessment," Eng said in a news release. They presented their findings at the annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics.

In genomic screening, a person's genetic makeup is studied to understand whether there are genetic variants that can put people at higher risk for some diseases."Study after study has shown that a well-taken family history can be one of the most powerful predictive factors for preventative health and health maintenance," said Dr. Kandamurugu Manickam, a geneticist at Ohio State University's Center.

It has always been my contention that the well-taken family history is the most sophisticated genetic test," said Dr. Ronald Bachman, chief of the Department of Genetics at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center in California.