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Eur J Cancer Prev. 2007 Apr;16(2):116-23.

Role and impact of menstrual and reproductive factors on breast cancer risk in Japan.

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  • 1Epidemiology and Prevention Division, Research Center for Cancer Prevention and Screening, National Cancer Center, Tokyo, Japan.


The aim of this study was to clarify the role and impact of menstrual and reproductive factors in relation to breast cancer and its hormone receptor-defined subtype, overall and separately among premenopausal and postmenopausal women in a low-risk population, using data from the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective study. A total of 55 537 women aged 40-69 years completed a self-administered questionnaire, which included items about menstrual and reproductive history. During 1990-2002, 441 newly diagnosed cases of breast cancer were identified. Early age at menarche for premenopausal women, late age at natural menopause, nulliparity and low parity for both premenopausal and postmenopausal women, and late age at first birth for postmenopausal women were significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer. No overall significant associations were seen between the use of exogenous female hormones or breast feeding and breast cancer risk. Age at menarche and age at natural menopause were somewhat more closely associated with the risk of progesterone receptor-negative than positive breast cancer although no difference was observed for estrogen receptor status. Risks associated with parity, number of births and age at first birth did not significantly differ by hormone receptor-defined breast cancer. Our findings suggest that menstrual and reproductive factors may play an important role in the development of breast cancer among low-risk populations, similarly as they do in Western populations, and that risk factors might differ by hormone receptor status.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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