Gabriele Rossi, MD
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Rossi G. Breast Cancer after Childhood Cancer. Ann Intern Med. 2005;142:471. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-142-6-200503150-00015
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2005;142(6):471.
TO THE EDITOR:
I read with great interest the article by Kenney and colleagues (1) on risk factors associated with development of secondary breast cancer in a population of childhood cancer survivors. Were the authors able to perform their analysis taking into account the patients' birthweights? Recently, Ahlgren and colleagues (2) emphasized the already recognized role of high birthweight as an independent risk factor for breast cancer. Moreover, several studies (3-5) have indicated a positive association between high birthweight and the risk for some types of cancer (for example, Wilms tumors, brain tumors, leukemia, and lymphoma). Theoretically, therefore, in the context of Kenney and colleagues' population, in which patients developed breast cancer after having childhood cancer, it could be argued that high birthweight could somehow influence the genesis of both tumors in the same patient. It should be of interest to determine whether high birthweight may be considered an independent risk factor for secondary breast cancer. In positive cases, clinicians would have a novel way to identify a specific subgroup of childhood cancer survivors who might benefit from early, vigilant screening for breast cancer.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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