Advertisement

Cancer risk associated with early and late maternal age at first birth

      Abstract

      Objective

      This paper provides a review of the literature associating maternal age at first birth and cancer. Potential mechanisms explaining associations between maternal age at first birth and cancer are also discussed.

      Method

      Systematic review of English language literature using searches on established databases (e.g., Medline, Popline) and the references of materials identified in these databases.

      Results

      Older age (typically defined as 35 years or older) at first birth is associated with increased risk of breast and brain cancers. Conversely, younger age (typically defined as 19 years or younger) at first birth is associated with an increased risk of cervical and endometrial cancers. There is an unclear correlation between maternal age at first birth and site-specific malignancies such as ovarian, colorectal, thyroid, pancreatic, and kidney cancers. Causal mechanisms linking age at first birth and cancer were identified and reported for breast, brain, cervical, and endometrial cancers.

      Conclusion

      Older age at first birth increases the risk for breast and brain cancers but decreases the risk of cervical and endometrial cancers.

      Keywords

      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Gynecologic Oncology
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • Phipps M.G.
        • Sowers M.
        Defining early adolescent childbearing.
        Am. J. Public Health. 2002; 92: 125-128
        • Martin J.A.
        • Hamilton B.E.
        • Sutton P.D.
        • Ventura S.J.
        • Menacker F.
        • Munson M.L.
        Births: final data for 2002.
        Natl. Vital Stat. Rep. 2003; 52: 1-113
        • Ventura S.J.
        • Matthews T.J.
        • Hamilton B.E.
        Teenage births in the United States: state trends, 1991–2000, an update.
        Natl. Vital Stat. Rep. 2002; 50: 1-4
      1. Smoot M. Delayed childbearing: increased maternal age at first birth and its association with labor and delivery outcomes [online]. 1997 [cited 2004 March 5]. Available from: URL: http://www.tdh.state.tx.us/bvs/reports/sreport2.pdf.

      2. Center for Disease Control. Fact Sheet: pregnancy related mortality surveillance—United States 1991–1999 [online]. 2003 [cited 2004 July 6]. Available from: URL: http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/pressrel/fs030220.htm.

        • Sivaraman L.
        • Conneely O.M.
        • Medina D.
        • O'Malley B.W.
        P53 is a potential mediator of pregnancy and hormone-induced resistance to mammary carcinogenesis.
        Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 2001; 98: 12379-12384
        • Lester S.C.
        • Cotran R.S.
        The breast.
        in: Cotran R.S. Kumar V. Collins T. Robbins pathologic basis of disease. WB Saunders, Philadelphia1999: 1104-1107
        • Lagiou A.
        • Lagiou P.
        • Vassilarou D.S.
        • Stoikidou M.
        • Trichopoulos D.
        Comparison of age at first full-term pregnancy between women with breast cancer and women with benign breast diseases.
        Int. J. Cancer. 2003; 107: 817-821
        • Madigan M.P.
        • Ziegler R.G.
        • Benichou J.
        • Byrne C.
        • Hoover R.N.
        Proportion of breast cancer cases in the United States explained by well-established risk factors.
        J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 1995; 87: 1681-1685
        • Kampert J.B.
        • Whittemore A.S.
        • Paffenbarger Jr., R.S.
        Combined effect of childbearing, menstrual events, and body size on age-specific breast cancer risk.
        Am. J. Epidemiol. 1988; 128: 962-979
        • Lee S.H.
        • Akuette K.
        • Fulton J.
        • Chelmow D.
        • Chung M.A.
        • Cady B.
        An increased risk of breast cancer after delayed first parity.
        Am. J. Surg. 2003; 186: 409-412
        • Rosner B.
        • Colditz G.A.
        • Willet W.C.
        Reproductive risk factors in a prospective study of breast cancer: the nurses' health study.
        Am. J. Epidemiol. 1994; 139: 819-835
        • Ramon J.M.
        • Escriba J.M.
        • Casas I.
        • et al.
        Age at first full-term pregnancy, lactation and parity and risk of breast cancer: a case-control study in Spain.
        Eur. J. Epidemiol. 1996; 12: 449-453
        • Hinkula M.
        • Pukkala E.
        • Kyyronen P.
        • Kauppila A.
        Grand multiparity and the risk of breast cancer: population-based study in Finland.
        Cancer Causes Control. 2001; 12: 491-500
        • Russo J.
        • Russo I.H.
        The pathway of neoplastic transformation of human breast epithelial cells.
        Radiat. Res. 2001; 155: 151-154
        • Russo J.
        • Hu Y.F.
        • Silva I.D.
        • Russo I.H.
        Cancer risk related to mammary gland structure and development.
        Microsc. Res. Tech. 2001; 52: 204-223
        • Russo J.
        • Lynch H.
        • Russo I.H.
        Mammary gland architecture as a determining factor in the susceptibility of the human breast to cancer.
        Breast J. 2001; 7: 278-291
        • La Vecchia C.
        • Negri E.
        • Franceschi S.
        • Parazzini F.
        Long-term impact of reproductive factors on cancer risk.
        Int. J. Cancer. 1993; 53: 215-219
        • Kvale G.
        • Heuch I.
        • Nilssen S.
        Reproductive factors and risk of cervical cancer by cell type. A prospective study.
        Br. J. Cancer. 1988; 58: 820-824
        • Mogren I.
        • Stenlund H.
        • Hogberg U.
        Long-term impact of reproductive factors on the risk of cervical, endometrial, ovarian and breast cancer.
        Acta Oncol. 2001; 40: 849-854
        • Guo W.D.
        • Hsing A.W.
        • Li J.Y.
        • Chen J.S.
        • Chow W.H.
        • Blot W.J.
        Correlation of cervical cancer mortality with reproductive and dietary factors, and serum markers in China.
        Int. J. Epidemiol. 1994; 23: 1127-1132
        • Bjorge T.
        • Kravdal O.
        Reproductive variables and risk of uterine cervical cancer in Norwegian registry data.
        Cancer Causes Control. 1996; 7: 351-357
        • Biswas L.N.
        • Manna B.
        • Maiti P.K.
        • Sengupta S.
        Sexual risk factors for cervical cancer among rural Indian women: a case-control study.
        Int. J. Epidemiol. 1997; 26: 491-495
        • Parazzini F.
        • La Vecchia C.
        • Negri E.
        • Fedele L.
        • Franceschi S.
        • Gallotta L.
        Risk factors for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia.
        Cancer. 1992; 69: 2276-2282
        • Lochen M.L.
        • Lund E.
        Childbearing and mortality from cancer of the corpus uteri.
        Acta Obstet. Gynecol. Scand. 1997; 76: 373-377
        • Parslov M.
        • Lidegaard O.
        • Klintorp S.
        • et al.
        Risk factors among young women with endometrial cancer: a Danish case-control study.
        Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 2000; 182: 23-29
        • Hinkula M.
        • Pukkala E.
        • Kyyronen P.
        • Kauppila A.
        Grand multiparity and incidence of endometrial cancer: a population-based study in Finland.
        Int. J. Cancer. 2002; 98: 912-915
        • Parazzini F.
        • La Vecchia C.
        • Negri E.
        • Fedele L.
        • Balotta F.
        Reproductive factors and risk of endometrial cancer.
        Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 1991; 164: 522-527
        • Lambe M.
        • Wuu J.
        • Weiderpass E.
        • Hsieh C.C.
        Childbearing at older age and endometrial cancer risk (Sweden).
        Cancer Causes Control. 1999; 10: 43-49
        • Brinton L.A.
        • Berman M.L.
        • Mortel R.
        • et al.
        Reproductive, menstrual, and medical risk factors for endometrial cancer: results from a case-control study.
        Am. J. Obstet. Gynecol. 1992; 167: 1317-1325
        • Greggi S.
        • Parazzini F.
        • Paratore M.P.
        • et al.
        Risk factors for ovarian cancer in central Italy.
        Gynecol. Oncol. 2000; 79: 50-54
        • Adami H.O.
        • Hsieh C.C.
        • Lambe M.
        • et al.
        Parity, age at first childbirth, and risk of ovarian cancer.
        Lancet. 1994; 344: 1250-1254
        • Whiteman D.C.
        • Siskind V.
        • Purdie D.M.
        • Green A.C.
        Timing of pregnancy and the risk of epithelial ovarian cancer.
        Cancer Epidemiol., Biomarkers Prev. 2003; 12: 42-46
        • Whittemore A.S.
        • Harris R.
        • Itnyre J.
        Characteristics relating to ovarian cancer risk: collaborative analysis of 12 US case-control studies: II. Invasive epithelial ovarian cancers in white women. Collaborative ovarian cancer group.
        Am. J. Epidemiol. 1992; 136: 1184-1203
        • Lund E.
        Mortality from ovarian cancer among women with many children.
        Int. J. Epidemiol. 1992; 21: 872-876
        • Nandakumar A.
        • Anantha N.
        • Dhar M.
        • et al.
        A case-control investigation on cancer of the ovary in Bangalore, India.
        Int. J. Cancer. 1995; 63: 361-365
        • Hankinson S.E.
        • Colditz G.A.
        • Hunter D.J.
        • et al.
        A prospective study of reproductive factors and risk of epithelial ovarian cancer.
        Cancer. 1995; 76: 284-290
        • Riman T.
        • Dickman P.W.
        • Nilsson S.
        • et al.
        Risk factors for epithelial borderline ovarian tumors: results of a Swedish case-control study.
        Gynecol. Oncol. 2001; 83: 575-585
        • Kvale G.
        • Heuch I.
        • Nilssen S.
        Reproductive factors cancers of the breast and genital organs—are the different cancer sites similarly affected?.
        Cancer Detect. Prev. 1991; 15: 369-377
        • Franceschi S.
        Reproductive factors and cancers of the breast, ovary and endometrium.
        Eur. J. Cancer Clin. Oncol. 1989; 25: 1933-1943
        • Fathalla M.F.
        Incessant ovulation—a factor for ovarian neoplasia?.
        Lancet. 1971; 2: 163
        • Casagrande J.T.
        • Louie E.W.
        • Pike M.C.
        • Roy S.
        • Ross R.K.
        • Hendersen B.E.
        Incessant ovulation and ovarian cancer.
        Lancet. 1979; 2: 170-173
        • Albrektsen G.
        • Heuch I.
        • Kvale G.
        Reproductive factors and incidence of epithelial ovarian cancer: a Norwegian prospective study.
        Cancer Causes Control. 1996; 7: 421-427
        • Potter J.D.
        • McMichael A.J.
        Large bowel cancer in women in relation to reproductive and hormonal factors: a case-control study.
        J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 1983; 71: 703-709
        • Howe G.R.
        • Craib K.J.
        • Miller A.B.
        Age at first pregnancy and risk of colorectal cancer: a case-control study.
        J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 1985; 74: 1155-1159
        • Kune G.A.
        • Kune S.
        • Watson L.F.
        Children, age at first birth, and colorectal cancer risk. Data from the Melbourne Colorectal Cancer Study.
        Am. J. Epidemiol. 1989; 129: 533-542
        • Kvale G.
        • Heuch I.
        Is the incidence of colorectal cancer related to reproduction? A prospective study of 63,000 women.
        Int. J. Cancer. 1991; 47: 390-395
        • Troisi R.
        • Schairer C.
        • Chow W.H.
        • Schatzkin A.
        • Brinton L.A.
        • Fraumeni Jr., J.F.
        Reproductive factors, oral contraceptive use, and risk of colorectal cancer.
        Epidemiology. 1997; 8: 75-79
        • Negri E.
        • La Vecchia C.
        • Parazzini F.
        • et al.
        Reproductive and menstrual factors and risk of colorectal cancer.
        Cancer Res. 1989; 49: 7158-7161
        • Broeders M.J.
        • Lambe M.
        • Baron J.A.
        • Leon D.A.
        History of childbearing and colorectal cancer risk in women aged less than 60: an analysis of Swedish routine registry data 1960–1984.
        Int. J. Cancer. 1996; 66: 170-175
        • Chute C.G.
        • Willett W.C.
        • Colditz G.A.
        • Stampfer M.J.
        • Rosner B.
        • Speizer F.E.
        A prospective study of reproductive history and exogenous estrogens on the risk of colorectal cancer in women.
        Epidemiology. 1991; 2: 201-207
        • Marcus P.M.
        • Newcomb P.A.
        • Young T.
        • Storer B.E.
        The association of reproductive and menstrual characteristics and colon and rectal cancer risk in Wisconsin women.
        Ann. Epidemiol. 1995; 5: 303-309
        • Slattery M.L.
        • Mineau G.P.
        • Kerber R.A.
        Reproductive factors and colon cancer: the influence of age, tumor site, and family history on risk (Utah United States).
        Cancer Causes Control. 1995; 6: 332-338
        • Talamini R.
        • Franceschi S.
        • Dal Maso L.
        • et al.
        The influence of reproductive and hormonal factors on the risk of colon and rectal cancer in women.
        Eur. J. Cancer. 1998; 34: 1070-1076
        • Bjelke E.
        Colorectal cancer: clues from epidemiology. International Cancer Congress Series.
        Excerpta Med. 1973; 354: 6
        • McMichael J.A.
        • Potter J.D.
        Reproduction, endogenous and exogenous sex hormones, and colon cancer: a review and hypothesis.
        J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 1980; 65: 1201-1207
        • Peters R.K.
        • Pike M.C.
        • Chang W.WL.
        • Mack T.M.
        Reproductive factors and colon cancers.
        Br. J. Cancer. 1990; 61: 741-748
        • Cantor K.P.
        • Lynch C.F.
        • Johnson D.
        Reproductive factors and risk of brain, colon, and other malignancies in Iowa (United States).
        Cancer Causes Control. 1993; 4: 505-511
        • Franceschi S.
        • Fassina A.
        • Talamini R.
        • et al.
        The influence of reproductive and hormonal factors on thyroid cancer in women.
        Rev. Epidemiol. Sante Publique. 1990; 38 ([abstract only, requested through ILL, 8/2/04]): 27-34
        • Negri E.
        • Ron E.
        • Franceschi S.
        • et al.
        Risk factors for medullary thyroid carcinoma: a pooled analysis.
        Cancer Causes Control. 2002; 13: 365-372
        • Kravdal O.
        • Glattre E.
        • Haldorsen T.
        Positive correlation between parity and incidence of thyroid cancer: new evidence based on complete Norwegian birth cohorts.
        Int. J. Cancer. 1991; 49: 831-836
        • Ji B.T.
        • Hatch M.C.
        • Chow W.H.
        • et al.
        Anthropometric and reproductive factors and the risk of pancreatic cancer: a case-control study in Shanghai, China.
        Int. J. Cancer. 1996; 66: 432-437
        • Fernandez E.
        • La Vecchia C.
        • D'Avanzo B.
        • Negri E.
        Menstrual and reproductive factors and pancreatic cancer risk in women.
        Int. J. Cancer. 1995; 62: 11-14
        • Skinner H.G.
        • Michael D.S.
        • Colditz G.A.
        • et al.
        Parity, reproductive factors, and the risk of pancreatic cancer in women.
        Cancer Epidemiol., Biomarkers Prev. 2003; 12: 433-438
        • Cantor K.P.
        • Lynch C.F.
        • Johnson D.
        Bladder cancer, parity, and age at first birth.
        Cancer Causes Control. 1992; 3: 57-62