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Am J Epidemiol. 2005 Jun 1;161(11):1047-55.

Cancer risk in persons with oral cleft--a population-based study of 8,093 cases.

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  • 1Center for the Prevention of Congenital Malformations, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.


The authors conducted a nationwide study of the occurrence of cancer among 8,093 Danish oral cleft cases born in 1936 through 1998 and followed in the Danish Cancer Registry from 1968 through 1998, a total of 175,863 person-years, to assess a possible association between cancer and oral clefts. Observed and expected numbers of cancers among oral cleft cases were summarized as the overall and as 52 site-specific standardized incidence ratios. The expected overall number of all cancers was 131, but 140 incident cancers were found, corresponding to a standardized incidence ratio of 1.07 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.90, 1.26). Analyses of the 52 sites for all oral cleft cases and analyses stratified for three cleft subgroups and the two sexes revealed only a few significant associations: an increased occurrence of breast cancer among females born with cleft lip and/or cleft palate (standardized incidence ratio (SIR) = 1.52, 95% CI: 1.05, 2.14), primary brain cancer among females born with cleft palate (SIR = 3.11, 95% CI: 1.14, 6.78), and primary lung cancer among males born with both cleft lip and cleft palate (SIR = 2.49, 95% CI: 1.00, 5.14). The results do not provide evidence for an increased overall cancer risk for individuals born with oral clefts.

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