A follow-up study of breast and other cancers in families of an unselected series of breast cancer patients

K. E. Bennett, A. Howell, D. G R Evans, Jillian M. Birch

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The cancer experience among relatives of an unselected cohort of 402 breast cancer patients was previously reported. Cases and their first degree relatives were flagged at the National Health Service Central Register for continuous notification of cancer registrations and deaths. More than 10 years of follow-up data have been analysed to update cancer risks overall and to estimate breast cancer risk in relatives prospectively according to family history at the time of breast cancer diagnosis in the index case. Significant excesses of breast cancer (RR 2.24, P <0.0001), prostate cancer (RR 1.71, P=0.039) and bone sarcoma (RR 6.564, P=0.042) overall and soft tissue sarcoma in mothers only (RR 15.44, P=0.001) were found. There was no excess of any other cancer, including ovarian. High breast cancer risk in relatives was associated with young age at diagnosis in the index (index <40 years at diagnosis, RR in relatives 3.76, P=0.004). Prospective risk of breast cancer was higher in relatives of index patients who had an affected first degree relative at the time of their diagnosis (no family history, RR 1.87, P=0.012; with a family history, RR 3.72, P=0.015). These prospective risk estimates are valuable in advising relatives of newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. © 2002 Cancer Research UK.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)718-722
    Number of pages4
    JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2002


    • Breast cancer predisposition
    • Breast cancer risk
    • Familial cancer


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