Epidemiologic risk factors for in situ and invasive ductal breast cancer among regularly screened postmenopausal women by grade in the Cancer Prevention Study-II Nutrition Cohort

Samantha Puvanesarajah, Susan M. Gapstur, Ted Gansler, Mark E. Sherman, Alpa V. Patel, Mia M. Gaudet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: Histopathologic grade provides an integrated measure of biologic features which affects cancer prognosis. In invasive ductal breast cancer (IDBC), the grade of the ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) and invasive components are usually concordant, suggesting grade is established early in tumorigenesis and may be linked to etiologic factors. In this study, we used prospectively collected data from postmenopausal women in the Cancer Prevention Study-II (CPS-II) Nutrition Cohort to compare risk factor associations among low-grade and high-grade DCIS, as well as low-grade and high-grade IDBC. Methods: Among 73,825 cancer-free women at enrollment in the CPS-II Nutrition Cohort in 1992–1993 (mean age: 62.1 years), we verified 802 diagnosed with DCIS (C50 8500/2; n = 430 low-grade and 372 high-grade) and 3,125 with IDBC (C50 8500/3; n = 2,221 low-grade and 904 high-grade) through June 2013. Person-time contribution was conditional on screening mammograms self-reported on biennial surveys. Multivariable-adjusted joint Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: A personal history of benign breast disease was more strongly associated with higher risk of low-grade DCIS (HR = 2.20, 95% CI 1.81–2.67; p for heterogeneity = 0.0004) than high-grade DCIS. Consumption of two or more alcoholic drinks/day was only associated with a higher risk of low-grade IDBC (HR = 1.58, 95% CI 1.33–1.88; p for heterogeneity = 0.005). Conclusions: These results suggest heterogeneity by grade for breast cancer etiology. Identification of potential risk factor differences among low-grade and high-grade DCIS and IDBC may help to clarify associations, and ultimately, improve breast cancer risk prediction models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCancer Causes and Control
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • DCIS
  • Epidemiology
  • Etiology
  • Invasive breast cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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