Review of cancer histories explores familial factors

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Review Explores Link Between Family History and Cancer Risk
Review Explores Link Between Family History and Cancer Risk

(HealthDay News) -- A review of family cancer histories indicates that several potential cancer syndromes exist among close relatives, possibly indicating the presence of genetic factors influencing multiple cancer sites, according to research published online July 24 in the Annals of Oncology.

Federica Turati, Sc.D., from the Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri in Milan, and colleagues analyzed data from a network of Italian and Swiss case-control studies on 13 cancer sites conducted between 1991 and 2009 that included more than 12,000 cases and 11,000 controls. History of any cancer in first-degree relatives and age at diagnosis were assessed.

The researchers found that all sites showed an excess risk at the same site in relation to family history of cancer. In addition, patients with a family history of laryngeal cancer had an increased risk of oral and pharyngeal cancer (odds ratio [OR], 3.3), while those with a family history of oral and pharyngeal cancer had an increased risk of esophageal cancer (OR, 4.1). A family history of colorectal cancer and hemolymphopoietic cancers increased the risk of breast cancer (OR, 1.5 and 1.7, respectively). Patients with a family history of breast cancer had an increased risk of ovarian cancer (OR, 2.3), and those with a family history of bladder cancer had an increased risk of prostate cancer (OR, 3.4). The association with family history was strengthened at most cancer sites when the affected proband was less than 60 years of age.

"Our results point to several potential cancer syndromes that appear among close relatives and may indicate the presence of genetic factors influencing multiple cancer sites," the authors write.

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