Risk of breast cancer associated with short-term use of oral contraceptives
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- Folger, S.G., Marchbanks, P.A., McDonald, J.A. et al. Cancer Causes Control (2007) 18: 189. doi:10.1007/s10552-006-0086-7
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To estimate breast cancer risk associated with short-term (<6 months) oral contraceptive use, and explore variation in estimates by use characteristics and medical, menstrual, and reproductive history.
We analyzed data from the Women’s Contraceptive and Reproductive Experiences Study. Case subjects were white women and black women, 35–64 years old, diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in July 1994–April 1998. Control subjects identified by random-digit dialing were matched to case subjects by age, race, and study site. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Overall, short-term oral contraceptive use was not associated with breast cancer risk (OR = 1.0; 95% CI = 0.8–1.1). However, significant interaction between short-term use and menopausal status led to an observed increased breast cancer risk in pre-menopausal women (OR = 1.3; 95% CI = 1.0–1.7) and a reduced risk in post-menopausal women (OR = 0.8; 95% CI = 0.6–1.0) associated with short-term use. The association was more pronounced in women with non-contraceptive reasons for use and underlying risk factors for breast cancer.
These associations may result from underlying characteristics of users or unmeasured factors influencing duration of use and breast cancer risk.