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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Oct;22(10):1853-61. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-13-0560. Epub 2013 Aug 15.

Reproductive factors, heterogeneity, and breast tumor subtypes in women of mexican descent.

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Authors' Affiliations: Moores Cancer Center; Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California; Arizona Cancer Center, University of Arizona, Tucson; Department of Surgery, Maricopa Medical Center, Phoenix, Arizona; Department of Pediatrics, Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center, Baylor College of Medicine; University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas; Universidad of Guadalajara, Guadalajara; Instituto Tecnológico de Sonora, Ciudad Obregón; and Universidad of Sonora, Hermosillo, Mexico.



Published data support the presence of etiologic heterogeneity by breast tumor subtype, but few studies have assessed this in Hispanic populations.


We assessed tumor subtype prevalence and associations between reproductive factors and tumor subtypes in 1,041 women of Mexican descent enrolled in a case-only, binational breast cancer study. Multinomial logistic regression comparing HER2(+) tumors and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) to luminal A tumors was conducted.


Compared with women with luminal A tumors, those with a later age at first pregnancy were less likely to have TNBC [OR, 0.61; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.39-0.95], whereas those with three or more full-term pregnancies were more likely to have TNBC (OR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.10-2.55). A lower odds of TNBC was shown for longer menstruation duration, whether before first pregnancy (OR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.65-0.93 per 10 years) or menopause (OR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.69-0.91 per 10 years). Patients who reported breastfeeding for more than 12 months were over twice as likely to have TNBC than luminal A tumors (OR, 2.14; 95% CI, 1.24-3.68). Associations comparing HER2(+) with luminal A tumors were weak or nonexistent except for the interval between last full-term pregnancy and breast cancer diagnosis.


Findings show etiologic heterogeneity by tumor subtype in a population of Hispanic women with unique reproductive profiles.


Identification of etiologically distinct breast tumor subtypes can further improve our understanding of the disease and help provide personalized prevention and treatment regimens.

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