Family history and prostate cancer risk in a population-based cohort of Iowa men.Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 1999 Jan; 8(1):53-60.CE
A family history of prostate cancer has been associated with prostate cancer risk in most prior studies, and more limited data suggest that a family history of breast cancer may also be important; however, there are no data from a population-based cohort study of prostate cancer incidence that adjusts for major confounders. We conducted follow-up through 1995 on 1557 men, ages 40-86 years, who were randomly selected (81% response rate) as cancer-free controls for a population-based case-control study conducted in Iowa from 1987-1989. Family history of cancer in parents and siblings was obtained using a mailed questionnaire. Incident cancers and deaths were ascertained through linkages to state and national databases; 101 incident cases of prostate cancer were identified. At baseline, 4.6% of the cohort reported a family history of prostate cancer in a brother or father, and this was positively associated with prostate cancer risk after adjustment for age [relative risk (RR) = 3.2; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.8-5.7] or after multivariate adjustment for age, alcohol, and dietary factors (RR = 3.7; 95% CI, 1.9-7.2). Risk was greater if a brother had prostate cancer (RR = 4.5; 95% CI, 2.1-9.7) than if a father had prostate cancer (RR = 2.3; 95% CI, 1.0-5.3). Also at baseline, 9.6% of the cohort had a family history of breast and/or ovarian cancer in a mother or sister, and this was positively associated with prostate cancer risk (age-adjusted RR = 1.7; 95% CI, 1.0-3.0; multivariate RR = 1.7; 95% CI, 0.9-3.2). Men with a family history of both prostate and breast/ovarian cancer were also at increased risk of prostate cancer (RR = 5.8; 95% CI, 2.4-14). There was no association with a family history of colon cancer. Exclusion of well-differentiated, localized tumors did not alter these findings. These data from an incidence study confirm that a family history of prostate cancer is a strong prostate cancer risk factor after adjustment for dietary and other risk factors, and suggest that selection and recall bias have not had an important influence on most case-control study results. These data also support the idea that a family history of breast cancer may also be a prostate cancer risk factor.