FaCD Online Syndrome Fact Sheet

Last updated: 10 Mar 2008

Name: Cerumen Type

Mode of Inheritance: AD

OMIM number: 117800  


ABCC11/MRP8, mapped to 16q12.1

Tumor features (possible)

breast cancer

Non-tumor features

ear wax, wet (as opposed to the dry brittle type)


Different types of cerumen exist[1]: wet, as seen in Caucasians and Blacks and the dry brittle type as seen in most Japanese. A positive association between wet ear wax and breast cancer has been suggested, but data are presently inconclusive[2-5].


[1] Roeser RJ, Ballachanda BB. Physiology, pathophysiology, and anthropology/epidemiology of human ear canal secretions. J Am Acad Audiol 1997; 8(6):391-400.
[2] Petrakis NL. Genetic cerumen type, breast secretory activity, and breast cancer epidemiology. In: Mulvihill JJ, Miller RW, Fraumeni JF, editors. Genetics of Human Cancer. New York: Raven press, 1977: 297-299.
[3] Petrakis NL. Cerumen genetics and human breast cancer. Science 1971; 173:347-349.
[4] Ing R, Petrakis NL, Ho HC. Evidence against association between wet cerumen and breast cancer. Lancet 1973; 6:41.
[5] Petrakis NL, King EB, Lee M, Miike R. Cerumen phenotype and proliferative epithelium in breast fluids of U.S.-born vs. immigrant Asian women: a possible genetic- environmental interaction. Breast Cancer Res Treat 1990; 16(3):279-285.