Background: Family history (FH) by different relative types and risk of upper gastrointestinal (UGI) cancers has been only rarely reported; the data on UGI cancer survival are sparse.
Methods: 600 esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) cases, 598 gastric cardia adenocarcinoma cases, and 316 gastric non-cardia adenocarcinoma cases, and 1514 age-, gender-, and neighborhood-matched controls were asked for FH in first degree relatives and non-blood relatives. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) from logistic regressions, and hazard ratios (HRs) from Cox proportional hazard regressions were estimated.
Results: Increased ESCC risk was associated with FH of any cancer (OR = 1.72, 95% CI = 1.39-2.12), FH of any UGI cancer (OR = 2.28, 95%CI = 1.77-2.95) and FH of esophageal cancer (OR = 2.84, 95%CI = 2.09-3.86), but not FH of non-UGI cancer. Individuals with two or more affected first-degree relatives had 10-fold increased ESCC risk. FH of gastric cardia cancer was associated with an increased risk of all three cancers. Cancer in non-blood relatives was not associated with risk of any UGI cancer. FH of UGI cancer was associated with a poorer survival rate among younger ESCC cases (HR = 1.82, 95%CI = 1.01-3.29).
Conclusion: These data provide strong evidence that shared susceptibility is involved in esophageal carcinogenesis and also suggest a role in prognosis.