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Family History Key Player in Brain Cancer Risk

Having immediate relatives with tumors boosts one's risk for same, study says

MONDAY, Sept. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Having a family history of cancerous brain tumors puts you at a higher risk of developing the same kind of tumors, a new study says.

The research, published in the Sept. 23 issue of Neurology, looked at the medical records and family histories of 1,401 people with either astrocytomas, tumors in the brain or spinal cord, or glioblastomas, a more aggressive and deadly category of astrocytomas.

Those whose immediate relatives had glioblastomas had twice the risk of also developing them. People with immediate relatives who had astrocytomas were nearly four times more likely to develop the same kind of tumor.

"Our study suggests that people with a family history of brain tumors should make their doctor aware of this and tell them about any other risk factors they have," study author Dr. Deborah Blumenthal, of the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, said in a news release issued by the journal's publisher.

"Hopefully, studies like these will eventually help us to identify genes that may be responsible for these types of brain tumors," she said.

More information

The Brain Tumor Society has more about brain cancer.

-- Kevin McKeever

SOURCE: American Academy of Neurology, news release, Sept. 18, 2008

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