The incidence of cancer was studied in a population-based cohort of 9,353 individuals (8,340 men and 1,013 women) with a discharge diagnosis of alcoholism in 1965-83, followed up for 19 years (mean 7.7). After exclusion of cancers in the first year of follow-up, 491 cancers were observed cf 343.2 expected through 1984 (standardized incidence ratio [SIR] = 1.4, 95 percent confidence interval [CI] = 1.3-1.6). A similar excess risk of cancer was seen among men (SIR = 1.4, CI = 1.3-1.6) and among women (SIR = 1.5, CI = 1.1-2.0). We observed the established associations with cancers of the oral cavity and pharynx (SIR = 4.1, CI = 2.9-5.7), esophagus (SIR = 6.8, CI = 4.5-9.9), larynx (SIR = 3.3, CI = 1.7-6.0), and lung (SIR = 2.1, CI = 1.7-2.6), although confounding by smoking likely increased these risk estimates. While there was evidence of increased risk for pancreatic cancer (SIR = 1.5, CI = 0.9-2.3), alcoholism did not elevate the incidence of cancer of the stomach (SIR = 0.9, CI = 6-1.4), large bowel (SIR = 1.1, CI = 0.8-1.5), prostate (SIR = 1.0, CI = 0.8-1.3), urinary bladder (SIR = 1.0, CI = 0.6-1.5), or of malignant melanoma (SIR = 0.9, CI = 0.3-1.9). Among women, the number of breast cancers observed was close to expected (SIR = 1.2, CI = 0.6-2.2), although a significant excess number of cervical cancers occurred (SIR = 4.2, CI = 1.5-9.1).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
The aim of this study was to determine the risk of developing primary liver cancer in patients with a diagnosis of alcoholism, liver cirrhosis, or both. Three population-based, mutually exclusive cohorts were defined on the basis of hospital discharge diagnosis between 1965 and 1983. Complete follow-up through 1984--excluding the first year of follow-up--showed that among 8,517 patients with a diagnosis of alcoholism, 13 cancers occurred, vs. 4.2 expected (standardized incidence ratio (SIR) = 3.1; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.6 to 5.3); among 3,589 patients with liver cirrhosis, 59 cancers occurred, vs. 1.7 expected (SIR = 35.1; 95% CI = 26.7 to 45.3), and among 836 patients with both diagnoses, 11 cancers occurred, vs. 0.3 expected (SIR = 34.3; 95% CI = 17.1 to 61.3). Thus, alcoholism alone entailed a moderately increased risk and alcoholism with liver cirrhosis did not increase the high relative risk for liver cancer more than cirrhosis alone. We conclude that alcohol intake may be a liver carcinogen only by being causally involved in the development of cirrhosis; and further, that the risk of developing liver cancer following cirrhosis in this population is similar to or higher than that after chronic hepatitis-B-virus infection in other Western countries.
BACKGROUND: An association between pernicious anemia and stomach cancer has been established in several studies. An increased risk of pancreatic and esophageal cancers has also been reported among pernicious anemia patients. The aim of this case-cohort study was to identify additional risk factors for cancer of the esophagus, stomach, and pancreas among patients with pernicious anemia. METHODS: A population-based cohort of 4586 patients with pernicious anemia was linked to the Swedish Cancer Registry to identify patients who subsequently developed cancers of the esophagus, stomach, or pancreas using a case-cohort design. A subcohort consisting of 4% of the cohort was randomly selected to serve as the comparison group. Information on medical history, smoking habits, and alcohol use was retrieved from medical charts and analyzed for cancer patients and subcohort members. RESULTS: We could not identify any risk factors other than pernicious anemia for stomach cancer. For pancreatic and esophageal cancer, younger age at diagnosis of pernicious anemia was associated with an increased risk. A prior gastric resection, smoking and alcohol abuse were more frequent among esophageal cancer cases than in the subcohort. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that a causal relationship between pernicious anemia and subsequent development of esophageal or pancreatic cancers still remains unproven. For esophageal cancer, confounding by smoking and alcohol use is the likely explanation of earlier reports of an association. In the case of stomach cancer, both the inflammatory process, secondary to the pernicious anemia, and pernicious anemia per se may be factors leading to malignant transformation.
A population-based cohort of 120 Danish men, discharged with a hospital diagnosis of primary hemochromatosis from 1977 to 1989, was followed up to 1989 for subsequent cancer risk. Nineteen subjects (including 6 with primary liver cancers) were excluded from the analysis, either because they died within the same month of hemochromatosis diagnosis or because they had cancer prior to diagnosis of hemochromatosis. Among the 101 remaining subjects, 4 primary liver cancers occurred one year or more after the diagnosis of hemochromatosis, far surpassing the expected number based on incidence rates from the Danish population (standardized incidence ratio 92.9, 95% confidence interval 25.0 to 237.9). The excess of liver cancer was associated with cirrhosis and included cholangiocarcinoma as well as hepatocellular carcinoma. Significantly elevated risks were also observed for non-hepatic cancers (13 cases; SIR 3.5, 95% CI 1.9 to 6.0), notably esophageal cancer (2 cases; SIR 42.9, 95% CI 4.8 to 154.9) and skin melanoma (2 cases; SIR 27.8, 95% CI 3.1 to 100.3). The results of this population-based study are in accordance with the hypothesis that patients with primary hemochromatosis have a substantial risk of primary liver cancer. Further studies of hemochromatosis may be useful in clarifying the relation of non-hepatic malignancies to body iron stores in the general population.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in western men, and incidence is rising rapidly in most countries, including low-risk populations. Age-adjusted incidence and mortality rates from 15 and 13 countries between 1973-77 and 1988-92, respectively, were compared to provide leads for future analytic studies. Large increases in both incidence and mortality rates of prostate cancer were seen for all countries. For incidence, increases were more pronounced in the United States, Canada, Australia, France and the Asian countries, while the increases in medium-risk countries were moderate. Increases in incidence ranged from 25%-114%, 24%-55% and 15%-104% in high-, medium- and low-risk countries, respectively. Mortality rates rose more rapidly in Asian countries than in high-risk countries. Substantial differences in incidence and mortality across countries were evident, with U.S. blacks having rates that were 50-60 times higher than the rates in Shanghai, China. Increasing incidence rates in the United States and Canada are likely to be due in part to the widespread use of transurethral resection of the prostate and prostate-specific antigen testing, while increases in the Asian countries are probably related to westernization in these low-risk populations. The large disparities in incidence between high- and low-risk countries may be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Future studies are needed to examine gene-gene and gene-environment interactions in various countries concurrently to shed light on the etiology of prostate cancer and to help elucidate reasons for the large differences in risk between populations.
Using the Cancer-Environment Registry of Sweden, which links census information (1960) with cancer incidence data (1961 to 1979), we conducted a systematic, population-based assessment of colon cancer incidence among cohorts defined by industry and occupation for all employed persons in Sweden. Small but statistically significant excesses of colon cancer were observed among white-collar occupations, including administrators, professionals, and clerical and sales workers, whereas a reduction in incidence was found among workers in agricultural and related jobs, such as farmers, fishermen, and hunters. Analysis by subsite within the colon revealed little difference in results. The observed risk patterns are consistent with previous reports on colon cancer risk and occupational physical activity levels, ie, elevated risk among sedentary white-collar workers and reduced risk among agricultural workers. Few craftsman and production processing jobs were linked to colon cancer, although statistically significant excesses were observed among shoe and leather workers, metal smiths, and foundry workers in the metal manufacturing industry. The findings indicate that occupation in general is likely to play a relatively small role in colon cancer etiology, with perhaps its major contribution an indirect one via physical activity.
To provide new leads regarding occupational prostate cancer risk factors, we linked 36,269 prostate cancer cases reported to the Swedish National Cancer Registry during 1961 to 1979 with employment information from the 1960 National Census. Standardized incidence ratios for prostate cancer, within major (1-digit), general (2-digit), and specific (3-digit) industries and occupations, were calculated. Significant excess risks were seen for agriculture-related industries, soap and perfume manufacture, and leather processing industries. Significantly elevated standardized incidence ratios were also seen for the following occupations: farmers, leather workers, and white-collar occupations. Our results suggest that farmers; certain occupations and industries with exposures to cadmium, herbicides, and fertilizers; and men with low occupational physical activity levels have elevated prostate cancer risks. Further research is needed to confirm these findings and identify specific exposures related to excess risk in these occupations and industries.
A cohort of 5072 patients with pernicious anaemia was identified in the Danish Hospital Discharge Register from 1977 to 1989 and, through linkage to the Danish Cancer Registry, the occurrence of cancer in the cohort was determined up to 1991. Observed numbers of cancer cases during 1-15 years of follow-up were compared with expected numbers based on national incidence rates. Besides the well-established increased risk for stomach cancer, the analysis also revealed a 2-fold increase in the relative risk for cancer of the buccal cavity and pharynx among pernicious anaemia patients in accordance with previous studies; previously reported elevated risks for other digestive tract cancers were not confirmed. There was a non-significantly increased risk for lymphatic and haematological malignancy but the risk tended to disappear after 5 years of follow-up, indicating a possible selection bias. Decreased risks for cervical cancer and non-melanoma skin cancer were also seen.
The cancer pattern was investigated among 5072 patients with a discharge diagnosis of pernicious anaemia during 1977-1989, using data from the Danish Hospital Discharge, Central Population and Cancer registries. During 1-15 years of follow-up we found, in line with earlier reports, two to three-fold increases in the risk of cancer of the stomach, buccal cavity and pharynx, which were unchanged when the analysis was stratified according to sex and duration of follow-up. A previously reported positive association with haematological cancers could only be found for short term follow-up to indicate that no real association exists. Our cohort of patients with pernicious anaemia experienced significantly reduced risks of cervix and non-melanoma skin cancer.
BACKGROUND. Elevated risk of cancers of the stomach, colon, and buccal cavity, as well as of lymphoma and leukemia, have been reported for patients with pernicious anemia in case reports and hospital-based and cross-sectional studies. METHODS. A cohort of 2021 men and 2496 women living in the Uppsala health care region in Sweden, discharged with a hospital diagnosis of pernicious anemia from 1965 to 1983, was followed for 20 years for subsequent risk of cancer. RESULTS. A total of 553 cancers were diagnosed among these patients, significantly more than expected based on cancer standardized incidence rates (SIRs) in the general population (SIR = 1.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-1.5). Most prominent were excesses for cancer of the stomach (SIR = 2.9; 95% CI, 2.4-3.5), esophagus (SIR = 3.2; 95% CI, 1.8-5.2), and pancreas (SIR = 1.7; 95% CI, 1.2-2.4) among men and women; myeloid leukemia among men (SIR = 4.4; 95% CI, 1.8-5.2); and multiple myeloma among women (SIR = 2.5; 95% CI, 1.1-4.9). An excess of gastric carcinoid tumors also was evident in this cohort. The risk of stomach cancer was highest in the first year after diagnosis of pernicious anemia (SIR = 7.4; 95% CI, 5.3-10.1), but an increased risk persisted throughout the follow-up period. The risk of esophageal cancer also remained elevated throughout the study period, although the risk of pancreatic cancer dropped off after 5 years. CONCLUSIONS. This study confirms the excess risk of gastric carcinoma and carcinoid tumors associated with pernicious anemia, and suggests that the susceptibility state may extend to esophageal and other cancers.