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BMC Cancer. 2008 Mar 19;8:75. doi: 10.1186/1471-2407-8-75.

Epithelial cells in nipple aspirate fluid and subsequent breast cancer risk: a historic prospective study.

Author information

1
University of California San Francisco, Department of Physiological Nursing, San Francisco, CA, USA. kbaltzell@earthlink.net

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Past studies have shown that women with abnormal cytology or epithelial cells in nipple aspirate fluid (NAF) have an increased relative risk (RR) of breast cancer when compared to women from whom NAF was attempted but not obtained (non-yielders). This study analyzed NAF results from a group of women seen in a breast clinic between 1970-1991 (N = 2480). Our analysis presented here is an aggregate of two sub-groups: women with questionnaire data (n = 712) and those with NAF visits beginning in 1988 (n = 238), the year in which cancer case information was uniformly collected in California.

METHODS:

Cytological classification was determined for a group of 946 women using the most abnormal epithelial cytology observed in fluid specimens. Breast cancer incidence and mortality status was determined through June 2006 using data from the California Cancer Registry, California Vital Statistics and self-report. We estimated odd ratios (ORs) for breast cancer using logistic regression analysis, adjusting for age. We analyzed breast cancer risk related to abnormality of NAF cytology using non-yielders as the referent group and breast cancer risk related to the presence or absence of epithelial cells in NAF, using non-yielders/fluid without epithelial cells as the referent group.

RESULTS:

Overall, 10% (93) of the 946 women developed breast cancer during the follow-up period. Age-adjusted ORs and 95% confidence intervals (C.I.) compared to non-yielders were 1.4 (0.3 to 6.4), 1.7 (0.9 to 3.5), and 2.0 (1.1 to 3.6) for women with fluid without epithelial cells, normal epithelial cells and hyperplasia/atypia, respectively. Comparing the presence or absence of epithelial cells in NAF, women with epithelial cells present in NAF were more likely to develop breast cancer than non-yielders or women with fluid without epithelial cells (RR = 1.9, 1.2 to 3.1).

CONCLUSION:

These results support previous findings that 1) women with abnormal epithelial cells in NAF have an increased risk of breast cancer when compared to non-yielders or women with normal epithelial cells in NAF and 2) women with epithelial cells present in NAF have an increased risk of breast cancer when compared to non-yielders or women who had NAF without epithelial cells present.

PMID:
18366688
PMCID:
PMC2292198
DOI:
10.1186/1471-2407-8-75
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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