Could daughter's cancer risk be affected by father's age at birth?

April 8, 2014
Could daughter's cancer risk be affected by father's age at birth?
Early study tied younger dads to higher odds of breast, ovarian tumors, and older dads to increased risk of uterine disease.

(HealthDay)—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 and more than 1,100 with —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 percent more likely to develop 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 percent higher risk of endometrial cancer.

The study was scheduled for presentation Monday 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.

"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 and her father's when she was born, it did not establish a cause-and-effect relationship.

Explore further: In mice, obese dads produce heavier daughters with epigenetically altered breast tissue

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about women and cancer.

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