ecancermedicalscience

Research

Elevated breast cancer risk among mothers of a population-based series of 2668 children with cancer

17 Jan 2008
D Pang, G Evans, J M Birch

Aims: Although a previous study found high risk of breast cancer in mothers of children with soft tissue sarcomas, breast cancer risks in mothers of sufferers of other childhood cancers largely remain unknown. The aetiology is not fully understood. The present study explored this excess by varying type of childhood solid cancer and formulated a hypothesis.

Methods: Mothers of 2668 children with solid tumours included in the Manchester Children's Tumour Registry, 1954–96, were traced and followed up to 31 December 2000 through the UK National Health Service Central Register. Standardized incidence ratio (SIR), p-values and 95% confidence intervals were calculated from age and calendar-year-specific female breast cancer incidence rates for England and Wales.

Results: There was a significant excess of breast cancer in mothers overall (SIR=1.3, 95%CI=1.0–1.5) mainly due to mothers of children with rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) (SIR=2.2, 95%CI=1.0–4.0), skin cancer (SIR=7.9, 95%CI=2.9–17.1) and central nervous system tumours (SIR=1.2, 95%CI=0.9–1.8). Maternal breast cancer risk was associated with late age at birth of the index child, and male sex and young age at diagnosis in the index child. Risk was highest in the ten years, following the birth of the index. The pattern was seen most strongly in mothers of children with embryonal RMS.

Conclusion: There are excesses of breast cancer in mothers of children with solid tumours in general and specifically in RMS, skin and central nervous system (CNS). There appears to be a temporal relationship between certain tumours in children and breast cancer in their mothers, suggesting an origin of their respective pregnancy. We propose a mother–foetal interaction mechanism to explain this association.

Related Articles

Ronald Limón, Lucia Reynolds, Erick Rocha, Lucia Richter, Mario Gianella, Oscar Niño de Guzman, Gerson Mejía, José Nina, Wendy Rojas, Lijia Avilés, Iván Maldonado, Cristian Pacheco, Claudio Martín, Maria G Cervantes, Federico Bakal, Eduardo Cazap
Abhenil Mittal, S V S Deo, Ajay Gogia, Atul Batra, Akash Kumar, Sandeep Bhoriwal, Koushik Sinha Deb, Ekta Dhamija, V L Ramprasad, Olufunmilayo Olopade, Raja Pramanik
Rogério Agenor de Araújo, Felipe Andrés Cordero da Luz, Eduarda da Costa Marinho, Camila Piqui Nascimento, Lara de Andrade Marques, Patrícia Ferreira Ribeiro Delfino, Rafael Mathias Antonioli, Breno Jeha Araújo, Ana Cristina Araújo Lemos da Silva, Maria Luiza Gonçalves dos Reis Monteiro, Morun Bernardino Neto, Marcelo José Barbosa Silva
Tsion Afework, Birtukan Seid, Aderaw Anteneh, Wondimu Ayele, Seifu Hagos Gebreyesus, Bilal Shikur Endris
Balasubramanian Ananthi, Priya Iyer, Rama Ranganathan, Kanchan Murhekar, Manikandan Dhanushkodi, Selvaluxmy Ganesarajah, Sridevi Velusami, Arvind Krishnamurthy