Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Increasing epidemiological and experimental evidence indicates that the carcinogenic pathway in the breast and female reproductive organs is driven, at least in part, by factors associated with reproduction. We conducted a retrospective cohort study, comparing the risk of ovarian, breast, endometrial, and cervical cancers among women who had records of at least one twin pregnancy, compared with women who had given birth to only single children. Subjects were selected from the Utah Population Database, which consists of multiple linked datasets including genealogy, births and deaths and cancer registries. We used Poisson regression to calculate relative risks, adjusted for the number of pregnancies and the age of the mother at the birth of first and last children, with singleton mothers as the reference group in each case. The risks of breast and ovarian cancers did not differ between mothers of twins and mothers of single children. The risk of endometrial cancer was slightly lower in mothers of twins than in mothers of singleton children (RR = 0.90, 95% CI 0.67-1.21). Conversely the risk of cervical cancer was higher among twin mothers (RR = 1.78, 95% CI 0.88-3.52). This latter finding supports previous data suggesting that reproductive hormones act as cofactors in the etiology of cervical cancer.

Original publication




Journal article


Cancer Causes Control

Publication Date





829 - 835


Adolescent, Adult, Aged, Breast Neoplasms, Cohort Studies, Databases, Factual, Female, Genital Neoplasms, Female, Humans, Incidence, Middle Aged, Parity, Pregnancy, Retrospective Studies, Risk Factors, Twins, Utah