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Reproductive factors and risk of contralateral breast cancer by BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation status: results from the WECARE study

  • Jenny N. Poynter
  • Bryan Langholz
  • Joan Largent
  • Lene Mellemkjaer
  • Leslie Bernstein
  • Kathleen E. Malone
  • Charles F. Lynch
  • Åke Borg
  • Patrick Concannon
  • Sharon N. Teraoka
  • Shanyan Xue
  • Anh T. Diep
  • Therese Törngren
  • Colin B. Begg
  • Marinela Capanu
  • Robert W. Haile
  • Jonine L. Bernstein
Publishing year: 2010
Language: English
Pages: 839-846
Publication/Series: Cancer Causes and Control
Volume: 21
Issue: 6
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Springer

Abstract english

Reproductive factors, such as early age at menarche, late age at menopause, and nulliparity are known risk factors for breast cancer. Previously, we reported these factors to be associated with risk of developing contralateral breast cancer (CBC). In this study, we evaluated the association between these factors and CBC risk among BRCA1 and BRCA2 (BRCA1/2) mutation carriers and non-carriers. The WECARE Study is a population-based multi-center case-control study of 705 women with CBC (cases) and 1,397 women with unilateral breast cancer (controls). All participants were screened for BRCA1/2 mutations and 181 carriers were identified. Conditional logistic regression models were used to evaluate associations between reproductive factors and CBC for mutation carriers and non-carriers. None of the associations between reproductive factors and CBC risk differed between mutation carriers and non-carriers. The increase in risk with younger age at menarche and decrease in risk in women with more than two full-term pregnancies seen in non-carriers were not significantly different in carriers (adjusted RRs = 1.31, 95% CI 0.65-2.65 and 0.53, 95% CI 0.19-1.51, respectively). No significant associations between the other reproductive factors and CBC risk were observed in mutation carriers or non-carriers. For two reproductive factors previously shown to be associated with CBC risk, we observed similar associations for BRCA1/2 carriers. This suggests that reproductive variables that affect CBC risk may have similar effects in mutation carriers and non-carriers.


  • Cancer and Oncology
  • Reproductive factors
  • Contralateral breast cancer
  • BRCA1
  • BRCA2


  • ISSN: 1573-7225
Åke Borg
Åke Borg
E-mail: ake [dot] borg [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Principal investigator

Oncology and Pathology, MV

+46 46 275 25 52

MV 404 C21B2


Project manager

Familial Breast Cancer



Oncology and Pathology, MV

MV 404 C21C2