Assessment of family history is an important element in the identification of individuals and families likely to be at risk of hereditary cancers. It is based on the recognition of important features in the natural history of cancer syndromes. These include the occurrence of the same type of cancer in two or more close relatives, bilateral cancer in paired organs, multiple primaries in the same individual, early age at onset, a specific constellation of cancers or other physical findings associated with a known syndrome, and a mendelian pattern of inheritance. We set up a population-based screening program to identify women at increased risk of breast or ovarian cancer in a region of North-Central Italy. As a preliminary screening, 159 women with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer were recruited at the Cancer Prevention Unit of Pierantoni Hospital in Forli. Information on the number of affected individuals and the age at onset of breast or ovarian cancer in each woman's family was recorded. Thirty-nine women reported two or more first- or second-degree relatives with breast cancer under the age of 50 (25%) and 95 a single first- or second-degree relative with breast cancer under the age of 50 (60%) with or without other late onset breast cancers in the family. The remaining 25 women reported first- and second-degree relatives with breast cancer over the age of 50 (15%). There were five families with a history of ovarian cancer (3%), one of which comprised 3 affected members. Twenty-three families showed multiple cancers associated with breast cancer cases. Associated prostate and colorectal cancers were found in 5 and 4 families with a history of breast cancer, respectively. On the basis of these preliminary data, we aimed to extend the population-based screening to the whole of the Emilia-Romagna population, involving the Cancer Prevention Units of neighboring towns and adopting homogeneous family history evaluation and risk assessment criteria.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||International Journal of Molecular Medicine|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2002|
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