The discussion was opened by Dr. Diane Birt with a summary of results from an epidemiological study and an animal investigation which support the interaction of genetics and nutrition in cancer development. Sellers et al.1 assessed the influence of body fat distribution and family history of breast and ovarian cancer on the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Linkage studies of the breast cancer susceptibility gene BRCA-1 on-chromosome 17p demonstrate a high association with families with a dual history of premenopausal breast and ovarian cancer. However, breast cancer family history alone is only weakly associated with a specific genetic mutation. The results from Sellers et al.1 suggested that a waist to hip ratio of >0.906 was associated with a higher risk of breast cancer amongst women with a family history of breast and ovarian cancer (relative risk = 4.8) than in women with a family history of breast cancer alone (relative risk = 2.1) or than women with no family history of breast or ovarian cancer (relative risk = 1.1). Although there were few patients with a family history of both breast and ovarian cancer, these results supported a strong relationship between obesity, or as was emphasized during the discussion, body fat distribution and breast cancer in women with genetic predisposition.
KeywordsBreast Cancer Ovarian Cancer Postmenopausal Breast Cancer Public Education Campaign Future Research Endeavor
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- 1.Sellers TA, Gapstur SM, Potter JD, Kushi LH, Bostick RM, Folsom AR. Association of body fat distribution and family histories of breast and ovarian cancer with risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. Am J Epidemiol 1993; 138: 799–803.Google Scholar