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Studies on survival between familial and sporadic cancers have been inconclusive and only recent data on a limited number of cancers are available on the concordance of survival between family members. In this review, we address these questions by evaluating the published and unpublished data from the nation-wide Swedish Family-Cancer Database and a total of 13 cancer sites were assessed. Using sporadic cancer as reference, HRs were close to 1.0 for most of the familial cancers in both the offspring and parental generations, which suggested that survival in patients with familial and sporadic cancers was equal, with an exception for ovarian cancer with a worse prognosis. Compared to offspring whose parents had a poor survival, those with a good parental survival had a decreased risk of death for most cancers and HR was significantly decreased for cancers in the breast, prostate, bladder, and kidney. For colorectal and nervous system cancers, favorable survival between the generations showed a borderline significance. These data are consistent in showing that both good and poor survival in certain cancers aggregate in families. Genetic factors are likely to contribute to the results. These observations call for intensified efforts to consider heritability in survival as one mechanism regulating prognosis in cancer patients.
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