Navigation Links
Large study reveals increased cancer risks associated with family history of the disease

A family history of cancer increases the risk of other members of the family developing not only the same cancer (known as a concordant cancer) but also a different (discordant) cancer, according to a large study of 23,000 people in Italy and Switzerland.

The research, published in the leading cancer journal Annals of Oncology [1] today (Thursday), provides a comprehensive picture of the risk of developing various different types of cancer in families where there is a history of the disease, and is one of the few large studies of this kind that takes into account other important factors, such as individual characteristics and lifestyles, that could affect the degree of risk as well.

Results from the study supported known associations, such as the increased risk of developing the same cancer as a close relative, and the 1.5-fold increased risk of breast cancer in women with a history of colorectal cancer in the family. However, the study also found a 3.3-fold increased risk of developing oral and pharyngeal cancer among people who had a first-degree relative with cancer of the larynx, and a four-fold increased risk of cancer of the gullet (oesophageal cancer) where a first-degree relative had oral or pharyngeal cancer. If a first-degree relative had breast cancer, female family members had a 2.3-fold increased risk of ovarian cancer. Family members had a 3.4-fold increased risk of prostate cancer if a first-degree relative had bladder cancer.

The researchers from Italy, Switzerland and France looked at 12,000 cases of cancer occurring in 13 different cancer sites (mouth and pharynx, nasopharynx, oesophagus, stomach, colorectum, liver, pancreas, larynx, breast, womb, ovaries, prostate and kidneys) between 1991 and 2009. They matched them with 11,000 people without cancer, and collected information on any cancer in the family, particularly in a first-degree relative, age at diagnosis, sociodemographic characteristics, body shape, lifestyle habits such as smoking and alcohol intake, diet, personal medical history, including menstrual and reproductive factors, and use of oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy.

Dr Eva Negri, head of the Laboratory of Epidemiologic Methods at the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, Milan, Italy, said: "Besides confirming and quantifying the well-known excess risks of people developing the same cancer as their first-degree relative, we have identified increased risks for developing a number of different cancers. We have also found that if a patient was diagnosed with certain cancers when they were younger than 60, the risks of a discordant cancer developing in family members were greater.

"A major strength of our study is that we were able to adjust our analyses for tobacco, alcohol and a number of other lifestyle habits, which most previous studies have not been able to do."

Dr Negri said that some of the associations between discordant cancers were probably due to shared environmental factors such as family habits of smoking and drinking. However, she said: "Our results point to several potential cancer syndromes that appear among close relatives and that indicate the presence of genetic factors influencing multiple cancer sites. These findings may help researchers and clinicians to focus on the identification of additional genetic causes of selected cancers and on optimizing screening and diagnosis, particularly in people with a family history of cancer at a young age."

She said that the large numbers of patients in the study enabled the researchers to identify associations even for some rare cancers.

"For some rare cancers, a weak association with a different, common cancer can, on a population level, reveal a higher attributable risk than a strong association with the risk of developing the same cancer. For example, for ovarian cancer we found that a family history of breast cancer had a stronger attributable risk of ovarian cancer than the far rarer, albeit stronger, association with family history of ovarian cancer."

The researchers are still collecting data on the people they are studying, including biological material, which could help them to identify genetic factors that could be playing a role in the increased risk for people with a family history of cancer. They also plan to investigate whether some well-recognised risk factors are involved in increasing the risk to family members of developing concordant or discordant cancers, and if so, to what extent.


Contact: Emma Mason
European Society for Medical Oncology

Related medicine news :

1. Mobilizes Social Entrepreneurship Through Crowdsourcing Agreement with Indonesia’s Largest Youth Organization
2. Large UK population study finds no increased cancer risk in children born after assisted conception
3. UIC to serve as Chicago site for largest-ever US study of Hispanic/Latino health
4. Market Authority to Release White Paper That Provides Key Strategies for Large Directional Media/Print Companies
5. CyraCom Ranked Amongst the World’s Largest Language Services Providers
6. Smart ERP Solutions Moves Headquarters to New Larger Location
7. North America Leads the Largest Market Share of the Bioinformatics Market Says New Research Report by MarketsandMarkets
8. Challenge of Champions, the Largest Martial Arts Tournament of its Kind in the World, to be Held in Edison, New Jersey
9. Showers Positioned to Replace Bathtubs in Large Hotel Chains – On Trend with Bathroom Remodeling Industry
10. Deadly Super Bug Controlled in Large Study of Hospitals
11. Time and Gems Offers Buyers the Largest Collection of Rolex Watches Yet
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... Using a combination ... prediabetes in American children and adults, according to a new study by researchers at ... of Prediabetes in Children and Adults: Using Combinations of Blood Glucose Tests ,” published ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... VA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System (NPDS) reveals that in ... managed almost 3 million cases, over two million of which were human exposure ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... (ASI) as their exclusive channel partner for the Nutraceutical Specialties products into oral ... the US, effective immediately. , “We are pleased to announce our expanded ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Chicago, Ill. (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 ... ... and Decision Support Solutions, announced at the Radiology Society of North America (RSNA) ... bookings have seen over 60% growth from 2014. Throughout 2015, the company ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Kreithen”), one of the leading plastic surgery practices in Florida, is proud to ... to consult for surgical innovations giant Ethicon Inc., a Johnson & Johnson Company. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... BANNOCKBURN, Ill. , Nov. 30, 2015 ... ), a global biopharmaceutical leader dedicated to ... diseases and underserved medical conditions, today announced ... [Antihemophilic Factor (Recombinant), PEGylated], an extended circulating ... hemophilia A based on full-length ADVATE [Antihemophilic ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (HK$,000)For the Six Months Ended 30 September 2015 2014RestatedChange%Turnover 545,575 , 518,852 ... , 384,242 , 9.8 Hospital ... , (18.3) Medical Insurance Administration Service Income , ... Medical Devices and Accessories Sales , 89,645 , ... , 2,822 , 2,917 , ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... PUNE, India , November 30, 2015 ... new market research report "Dental Lasers Market by Product (Soft ... Treatment, Periodontitis), End User (Hospitals, Clinics), and Geography - Global ... USD 224.7 Million by 2020, at a CAGR of 5.2% ... , Browse 140 market data Tables and 62 Figures spread ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: