Research shows a large head may signify cancer risk

According to recent research from the Cleveland Clinic's Genomic Medicine Institute, a large head circumference may suggest an increased risk of breast, thyroid and uterine cancer. News Max Health reports that researchers studied 127 patients who carry the genetic mutation that causes Cowden syndrome, which is associated with heightened cancer risk and large head size.

"What this means is that people with big heads - defined as greater than 58 centimeters in men and 57 centimeters in women - should see a genetic counselor to determine whether they should be screened for colon, breast, thyroid and uterine cancers," lead researcher Charis Eng, Hardis Chair of the Genomic Medicine Institute in Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute, said in a statement from the clinic.

The study, which is published in the December issue of Gastroenterology, found that 75 percent of Cowden patients had a large head, an increased risk for colon polyps and gastrointestinal polyps, which can lead to colon cancer.

The Cleveland Clinic study may change the diagnosis criteria for the condition to include gastrointestinal polyps and head circumference, the clinic noted.