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Changing patterns in breast cancer incidence trends.

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Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8034, USA.


Incidence rates for breast cancer in U.S. women have steadily increased for decades, but the reasons are not well understood. A recent upturn in these trends suggests that one component may be the effect of more aggressive screening in the population. The age-period-cohort framework, in which the temporal components associated with year of diagnosis and generation are evaluated, can assist in interpreting the elements associated with these trends. A unique approach for exploring other ways of partitioning the contribution of the different temporal components is described and applied to breast cancer incidence data (ICDO 174.0-174.9) from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) registries. Single-year intervals for age and year of diagnosis were used to fit models that provide estimates of the trends associated with the individual temporal elements. A log-linear model for age, period, and cohort was fitted using Poisson regression, and estimates of the separate time trends were calculated. The trends with period increased after 1982, when more aggressive screening began, and the trend is steeper for women older than 40 years. Cohort trends have increased steadily, although recent cohorts appear to be somewhat flat for women aged 50 years or younger, whereas the trend for those older than 50 years have continued to increase. Estimates of cohort trends in rates are also provided by extrapolating what would have occurred had there been no period trend before or after 1982, thus providing an estimate of the magnitude of the upturn that occurred after the recent emphasis on screening.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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