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Keywords:

  • oral neoplasms;
  • familial risk;
  • tobacco;
  • alcohol drinking;
  • risk factors

Abstract

Scanty data are available on familial risk in oral and pharyngeal cancer. The relationship between oral and pharyngeal cancer and family history of cancer in first-degree relatives was investigated using data from a multicentric case-control study conducted in Italy and Switzerland between 1992 and 2005 on 956 cases aged less than 79 years, with histologically confirmed incident oral and pharyngeal cancer, and 2362 controls admitted to hospital for acute, nonneoplastic conditions. Logistic regression models conditioned on sex, age, study centre, and including terms for education, tobacco smoking, alcohol drinking, and number of siblings were used to estimate the odds ratios (OR) of oral and pharyngeal cancer. The multivariate ORs were similar for a family history of oral and pharyngeal cancer (2.6, 95% confidence interval, CI, 1.5–4.5) and laryngeal cancer (3.8, 95% CI, 2.0–7.2). The OR was 3.1 (95% CI, 2.0–4.8) for oral and pharyngeal cancer and laryngeal cancer combined. The OR was 7.1 (95% CI, 1.3–37.2) for subjects with 2 or more first-degree relatives with oral and pharyngeal/laryngeal cancers. Significant increases in risk were also observed for a family history of melanoma (OR = 5.8; 95% CI, 1.3–26.4) and lung cancer (OR = 1.4; 95% CI, 1.0–2.0). Compared to subjects without family history, nonsmokers, and non or moderate drinkers, the OR was 42.6 for current smokers, heavy drinkers with family history. History of oral and pharyngeal cancer and laryngeal cancer is a strong determinant of oral and pharyngeal cancer risk, independent from tobacco and alcohol. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.