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The Relative Risk of Brain Cancer

Posted Nov 15 2008 2:46pm

Doctors know that you’re at a higher risk for breast, colon and prostate cancers if they’ve been found in your family. Brain cancer can now be placed on that same list, says a new study by Tel Aviv University and the University of Utah.

Dr. Deborah Blumenthal, co-director of Tel Aviv University’s Neuro-oncology Service at the Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Center, says that a family history of brain cancer, like those of other cancers, should be reported to the family doctor during a routine medical checkup.

The new study, using data from the Utah Population Data Base (UPDB) at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, was unique in the large number of cases examined, which tracked back at least three generations and as far as ten generations in some families. The brain tumors studied by the researchers include glioblastoma, the same tumor afflicting Sen. Edward Kennedy, who has been undergoing treatment since June.

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