Father's age at birth affects women's cancer risk

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A father's age at the time of his daughter's birth may affect her risk for breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer in adulthood, a new study suggests.

Researchers examined data from more than 133 000 women who took part in a study of California teachers and administrators.

Between 1995 and 2010, more than 5 300 of the women were diagnosed with breast cancer, 515 with ovarian cancer and more than 1 100 with endometrial cancer – cancer of the lining of the uterus.

Compared to women born to fathers aged 25 to 29, those born to fathers younger than age 20 were 35% more likely to develop breast cancer and nearly two times more likely to develop ovarian cancer.

On the other hand, those born to fathers aged 30 to 34 had a 25% higher risk of endometrial cancer.

A wide range of effects

The study was scheduled for presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) annual meeting, held in San Diego. Studies should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Previous research has looked at how parents' age at the time of birth affects a child's health. But few have focused on the link between parents' age and a daughter's risk of these three hormone-related cancers in adulthood, according to the City of Hope researchers.

Read: Check your cancer risk

"Our findings indicate that parental age, especially paternal age, at conception appears to be associated with a wide range of effects on the health and development of the offspring," study leader Yani Lu said in an AACR news release.

While the study found a connection between a daughter's risk of cancer and her father's age when she was born, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

Image:
Cancer cell from Shutterstock


Read more:

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