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Cancer Risk in Women With 10 or More Deliveries

Högnäs, Emma; Kauppila, Antti MD, PhD; Pukkala, Eero PhD; Tapanainen, Juha S. MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000000182
Contents: Original Research

OBJECTIVE: To determine cancer incidence among Finnish women with 10 or more deliveries.

METHODS: Finnish women with at least 10 childbirths before December 31, 2010 (n=4,967) were identified from the Finnish Population Register and followed for cancer incidence through the Finnish Cancer Registry to the end of 2010. Cancer risks in this cohort were expressed as ratios between observed and expected numbers of cases (standardized incidence ratios), both drawn from the Finnish Cancer Registry, with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

RESULTS: Total cancer incidence was markedly lower than in the reference population (656 cases, standardized incidence ratio 0.76, 95% CI 0.73–0.79). There was clearly less breast (0.44, 0.35–0.53), ovarian (0.49, 0.28–0.80), endometrial (0.31, 0.17–0.44), and basal cell skin cancer (0.72, 0.60–0.85) than in the reference population. The incidence of thyroid cancer (2.33, 1.59–3.29), lip cancer (2.87, 1.05–6.24), and uterine sarcoma (3.41, 1.47–6.72) was markedly increased.

CONCLUSION: Women with 10 or more deliveries show a decreased overall cancer incidence as a result of decreased risks of cancers of the ovary, endometrium, and breast and basal cell carcinoma of the skin. The increased risks were observed in thyroid cancer and some rare cancer types.


Women with 10 or more deliveries show a decreased incidence of ovarian, endometrial, and breast cancers and an increased incidence of thyroid cancer and uterine sarcoma.

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, and the Finnish Cancer Registry, Institute for Statistical and Epidemiological Cancer Research, Helsinki, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical Research Center Oulu, University of Oulu and Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, and the School of Health Sciences, University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland.

Supported by the Academy of Finland and the Sigrid Jusélius Foundation.

Corresponding author: Professor Juha S. Tapanainen, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Helsinki University Central Hospital and Helsinki University, P.O. Box 140, 00029 HUS, Finland; e-mail:

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2014 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.