Familial risks for esophageal cancer are not well known, especially for specific histologic types.
Dr Jianguang Ji and colleagues from Sweden used the nationwide Swedish Family-Cancer Database to examine familial risks for esophageal cancer in offspring.
Standardized incidence ratios and 95% confidence intervals were used to calculate the risk.
Age standardized incidence rates for specific histology types of esophageal cancer were available from Swedish Cancer Registry.
The investigative team found that the incidence of male squamous cell carcinoma reached its peak rate in 1985 and decreased afterwards.
|The incidence ratio for cancer was 4 when a parent had squamous cell carcinoma|
|Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
The incidence of adenocarcinoma exceeded that of squamous cell carcinoma in 2000 among men.
The investigators noted that the incidence ratios for offspring esophageal cancer was significantly increased when a parent presented with esophageal cancer.
The incidence ratios for adenocarcinoma were 4 and 3.5 when a parent was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma and any esophageal cancer, respectively.
The team observed that the incidence ratios from maternal probands were 10 and 8, respectively.
The investigators noted that the familial incidence ratios was above unity but not significant for squamous cell carcinoma.
For associations with other cancer sites, squamous cell carcinoma showed a significantly increased risk when a sibling had lung cancer.
Dr Ji's team commented, “The present study showed that adenocarcinoma became the major histologic type of esophageal cancer in Swedish men around 2000.”
“For the first time we could show that familial risks of esophageal adenocarcinoma were increased when parents presented with esophageal cancer.”
“The high risk for adenocarcinoma in such families might be due to heritable effects.”
“However, because of the limited number of familial cases, the results should be interpreted with caution.”