Although estimates are available of the proportion of hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer (HNPCC) among all colorectal cancer (CRC), its proportion among familial CRC is unclear. We estimated these proportions epidemiologically from the nationwide Swedish Family-Cancer Database on 9.6 million individuals. Colorectal adenocarcinomas were retrieved from the Cancer Registry covering years 1958-1996. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) were calculated for offspring (aged less than 62 years) when their parent had colorectal adenocarcinoma. In 9.82% of all families, an offspring and a parent were affected, giving a population attributable proportion of 4.91% and a familial SIR of 2.00. When offspring and parents shared the anatomic site, the SIR was 2.32 for proximal and 2.00 for distal CRC. When offspring were diagnosed before age 40 years and parents before age 50 years, the SIR was 25.72 for familial proximal CRC. In older age groups familial risks did not differ between proximal and distal CRC. Familial risks were increased also for endometrial, small intestinal and gastric cancers, manifestations in HNPCC. Depending on which assumptions were made, HNPCC was calculated to account for 20 to 50% of familial CRC, corresponding to 1 or 2.5% of all CRC among 0-61-year-old individuals.
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