Hereditary ovarian cancer. Heterogeneity in age at diagnosis

Henry T. Lynch, Patrice Watson, Chhanda Bewtra, Theresa A. Conway, Connie Read Hippee, Prabjhot Kaur, Jane F. Lynch, Bruce A.J. Ponder

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96 Scopus citations


An unknown fraction of the ovarian cancer burden occurs in women with a family history indicative of a putative autosomal dominantly inherited cancer susceptibility syndrome. The results from a five-generation, extended, hereditary breast-ovarian cancer kindred are described 10 years after it was initially as certained. Significantly more cancers were observed in high-risk family members during this decade than were expected (P <0.001). The age of ovarian cancer diagnosis was studied in additional ovarian cancer-prone families of three types: site-specific ovarian cancer syndrome, the breast-ovarian cancer syndrome, and Lynch syndrome II. The age of onset in each of the three sets was significantly (P <0.001) earlier than the general population mean of 59, and there were significant differences in the age of onset (P = 0.050) among these three cohorts. Ovarian cancer histology was similar to that of patients with negative family histories. There may be clinically significant heterogeneity in the age at diagnosis of ovarian cancer among these ovarian cancer-prone syndromes. This has important implications for understanding its natural history and targeting surveillance management strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1460-1466
Number of pages7
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 1991
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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