Cancer: In Kids And Their Moms

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Could cancer in a child be somehow linked to breast cancer in the mom? That's the strong implication of a study presented last week at the European Cancer Conference in Copenhagen. Tracing the medical histories of 2,600 mothers whose children developed various cancers before age 15, researchers discovered that breast cancer was diagnosed in 95 of the women--30% more than predicted. The earlier the kids got cancer, the greater the danger. Mothers of children who got sick before age 6 had a 50% greater-than-expected risk of getting breast cancer. The risk was higher in the early years after giving birth to the child and greater in the mothers of boys. Scientists believe the link may have to do with mutations on the tumor-suppression gene p53 and with disruption of hormone levels inside the womb.