Familial breast and ovarian cancer: a Swedish population-based register study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A cohort of offspring of mothers with breast or ovarian cancer diagnosed in 1958-1993 was established using Swedish population-based registers. The children (n = 158,041) were born between 1941 and 1993, and their cancer incidence was followed between 1961 and 1993. A total of 3,257 tumors in 3,102 children were found. Observed numbers of cases were compared with expected numbers based on national calendar year-, age-, and sex-specific incidences. For daughters of women with breast cancer, the standardized morbidity ratios for being diagnosed with breast cancer and ovarian cancer before age 50 years were 1.99 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.86, 2.14) and 1.28 (95% CI: 1.05, 1.54), respectively. The corresponding figures for daughters of women with ovarian cancer were 1.79 (95% CI: 1.55, 2.07) and 2.38 (95% CI: 1.77, 3.12). The risks were raised if the mother's cancer was diagnosed at a young age, the mother had multiple breast/ovarian diagnoses, or there was a sister with breast/ovarian cancer. Among all offspring, increased risks were found for thyroid cancer, testicular cancer, and malignant melanoma, while lung cancer risk was decreased if the mother had had breast cancer. The authors developed a variance estimator for the standardized morbidity ratio to cope with overdispersion due to dependency within families.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology


  • Adult, Age Distribution, Aged, Breast Neoplasms, Confidence Intervals, Female, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Humans, Incidence, Middle Aged, Ovarian Neoplasms, Population Surveillance, Registries, Risk Assessment, Risk Factors, Survival Rate, Sweden
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1154-63
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Dec 15
Publication categoryResearch