Family Attitudes Reported in Youth as Potential Predictors of Cancer

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In long-term prospective study of a cohort of former medical students, men who later developed cancer reported different family attitudes in youth from those of their healthy classmates. The items checked on a Family Attitude Questionnaire by the future cancer group indicated a lack of closeness to parents compared with the items checked by the healthy group. Family attitudes of the future mental illness/suicide group resembled those of the cancer group, while those of the essential hypertension and coronary heart disease groups were like those of the healthy group. These prospective findings appear to fit with those of retrospective studies concerning early family relationships in cancer patients.

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