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Cancer Causes Control. 2003 Mar;14(2):151-60.

Breast cancers among very young premenopausal women (United States).

Author information

  • 1National Cancer Institute, Rockville, MD, USA. althuism@mail.nih.gov

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To assess risk factors for breast cancer among very young compared to older premenopausal women.

METHODS:

Between 1990 and 1992 a population-based case-control study conducted in Atlanta, GA, Seattle/Puget Sound, WA, and central NJ interviewed 3307 premenopausal women aged 20-54 years. Logistic regression models estimated adjusted relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) for each of three 10-year age groups.

RESULTS:

Among the youngest age group (<35 years, n = 545), significant predictors of risk included African-American race (RR = 2.66: 95% CI 1.4-4.9) and recent use of oral contraceptives (RR = 2.26; 95% CI 1.4-3.6). Although these relationships were strongest for estrogen receptor-negative (ER-) tumors (RRs of 3.30 for race and 3.56 for recent oral contraceptive use), these associations were also apparent for young women with ER+ tumors. Delayed childbearing was a risk factor for ER+ tumors among the older premenopausal women (Ptrend < 0.01), but not for women <35 years in whom early childbearing was associated with an increased risk, reflecting a short-term increase in risk immediately following a birth. Family history of early-onset breast cancer was more strongly associated with risk among women <35 years (RR = 3.22) than those 45-54 years (RR = 1.51). Risk factors for premenopausal breast cancer not significantly modified by age at diagnosis included early age at menarche, low body mass index, and heavy alcohol consumption.

CONCLUSION:

These findings suggest the possibility that women who develop breast cancers at very young ages may be etiologically as well as clinically distinct.

PMID:
12749720
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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