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Number of full brothers with colorectal cancer


FBNCLRCAN is a two-digit count variable.

00: Not in Universe
03: Top code of 3 or more
97: Unknown-Refused
98: Unknown-Not Ascertained
99: Unknown-Don't Know


For sample adults with at least one full brother (FBNUM) who ever had colon or rectal (colorectal) cancer (FBCLRCAN), FBNCLRCAN reports the number of the respondent's full brothers who were diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

In 2015, due to low frequencies among family members, cancers of the colon and rectum were removed from the NHIS public use file to maintain respondent confidentiality. To maintain continuity of data analyses using these cancers the "colorectal cancer" variable was created. Researchers may choose to recode the component cancers variables (FBNCLCAN and FBNRTCAN in 2000, 2005 and 2010 to mimic the "colorectal cancer" variables in 2015.

FBNCLRCAN is one of a series of related variables in the "Family History" section of the Cancer Module. In all years, this section begins with the general comment:

We would like to ask you a few questions about your family history of cancer.

According to the 2000 and 2005 Field Representative's Manuals, the purpose of this and other family cancer history questions is to "determine the prevalence of cancer in families in the population" to "allow a greater understanding of how data obtained from genetics clinics can be applied to the general population." The 2010 and later Manuals provide a similar rationale, stating that the collection of these data "will allow analysts a greater understanding of how family history relates to cancer.

The Manuals for all years define "biological" relatives as people related by blood. Thus, a respondent's biological daughter is a daughter related to the respondent by blood (i.e., not a stepdaughter, adoptive daughter, foster daughter, or daughter-in-law).


There are no comparability issues.


  • 2015: Sample adults aged 18 and older whose biological brother(s) were ever diagnosed with colorectal cancer.


  • 2015