According to a new report in The British Medical Journal, individuals born with significant congenital disabilities face 74% higher chances of cancer than individuals without birth defects.
The results were analyzed by researchers in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden on 62.295 patients with cancer under the age of 46 from the national health registry and collected against 724.542 control groups. Compared with those without, the chance ratio was 1.74 for those who were born with major birth defects. Chromosomal mutations were more at risk with an unusual ratio of 5.53 compared to nonchromosomal anomalies with an odds ratio of 1.54.
Down syndrome has been associated with the greatest average relative risk of cancer. People with hereditary syndromes/microdeletions have the greatest relative risk of cancer, including people with nonchromosomal birth defects. The most severe relative dangers amongst people with nonchromosomal defects were urinary organ cancers. In the same area of the defect, multiple anatomical birth defects, such as those of the eye, nervous system, and urinary organs, were associated with later cancer.
According to a recent study, researchers have seen a rise in cancer incidence amongst people with a birth defect in all age groups, although the odds ratios have declined with age.
In the analysis at BMJ, it has been declared that the risks were different due to the type of defect. Those born with neural tube defects were more than six times more likely to have cancer than those with genetic disorders, such as Down’s syndrome. Conversely, there was no rise in the vulnerability of people who were born with a cleft palate.
Dagrun Slettebo Daltveit, the lead author of the University of Bergen in Norway, said in his study that cancer is rare in any case among people under 50 and that their absolute chance growth is small. “It brings details to the risk picture,” she added, “just as a person has a history of a disease in her family. It does not mean a birth defect person is doomed to cancer.”