Researchers from the Institute of Evolutionary Medicine of the University of Zurich and the Adelaide Medical School have analyzed data from 178 countries and found a link between family size and cancer risk. Worldwide the incidence of various types of cancer increases with smaller family size. “And this relationship is independent of income, levels of urbanization and age,” explains Professor Maciej Henneberg, academic guest at UZH and senior author of the study.
The group of researchers including Professor Frank Rühli found that not only the size of the family nucleus – i.e. parents and children – but also the size of the household including members of the extended family seem to have a protective effect against cancer.
Correlation between family size and cancer risk
The study suggests that family size, as determined by the number of children born to a mother during her lifetime, and size of household have a strong negative correlation with the incidence of all cancer types, independent of the person’s age. The larger the family, the less frequently certain types of cancer occur, including brain, bladder, lung, stomach, breast, ovarian colorectal and cervical cancers as well as melanoma. The protective effects of family size are
Article originally posted at