Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 189–198

Risk of breast cancer associated with short-term use of oral contraceptives

  • Suzanne G. Folger
  • Polly A. Marchbanks
  • Jill A. McDonald
  • Leslie Bernstein
  • Giske Ursin
  • Jesse A. Berlin
  • Janet R. Daling
  • Sandra A. Norman
  • Brian L. Strom
  • Linda K. Weiss
  • Michael S. Simon
  • Ronald T. Burkman
  • Kathleen E. Malone
  • Robert Spirtas
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10552-006-0086-7

Cite this article as:
Folger, S.G., Marchbanks, P.A., McDonald, J.A. et al. Cancer Causes Control (2007) 18: 189. doi:10.1007/s10552-006-0086-7

Abstract

Objective

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.

Methods

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).

Results

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.

Conclusions

These associations may result from underlying characteristics of users or unmeasured factors influencing duration of use and breast cancer risk.

Keywords

Oral contraceptives Breast cancer Epidemiology Case control studies 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suzanne G. Folger
    • 1
    • 2
  • Polly A. Marchbanks
    • 1
  • Jill A. McDonald
    • 1
  • Leslie Bernstein
    • 3
  • Giske Ursin
    • 3
    • 4
  • Jesse A. Berlin
    • 5
  • Janet R. Daling
    • 6
  • Sandra A. Norman
    • 7
  • Brian L. Strom
    • 7
  • Linda K. Weiss
    • 8
  • Michael S. Simon
    • 9
  • Ronald T. Burkman
    • 10
  • Kathleen E. Malone
    • 6
  • Robert Spirtas
    • 11
  1. 1.Division of Reproductive HealthCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.AtlantaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Preventive Medicine, Keck School of MedicineUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Department of NutritionUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  5. 5.Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and DevelopmentTitusvilleUSA
  6. 6.Division of Public Health SciencesFred Hutchinson Cancer Research CenterSeattleUSA
  7. 7.Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics and Department of Biostatistics and EpidemiologyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  8. 8.Cancer Centers BranchNational Cancer InstituteBethesdaUSA
  9. 9.Division of Hematology and OncologyKarmanos Cancer Institute at Wayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  10. 10.Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyBaystate Medical CenterSpringfieldUSA
  11. 11.Contraception and Reproductive Health Branch, Center for Population ResearchNational Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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