Mammographic density does not differ between unaffected BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and women at low-to-average risk of breast cancer

Gretchen L. Gierach, Jennifer T. Loud, Catherine K. Chow, Sheila A. Prindiville, Jennifer Eng-Wong, Peter W. Soballe, Claudia Giambartolomei, Phuong L. Mai, Claudia E. Galbo, Kathryn Nichols, Kathleen A. Calzone, Celine Vachon, Mitchell H. Gail, Mark H. Greene

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations

Abstract

Elevated mammographic density (MD) is one of the strongest risk factors for sporadic breast cancer. Epidemiologic evidence suggests that MD is, in part, genetically determined; however, the relationship between MD and BRCA1/2 mutation status is equivocal. We compared MD in unaffected BRCA1/2 mutation carriers enrolled in the U.S. National Cancer Institute's Clinical Genetics Branch's Breast Imaging Study (n = 143) with women at low-to-average breast cancer risk enrolled in the same study (n = 29) or the NCI/National Naval Medical Center's Susceptibility to Breast Cancer Study (n = 90). The latter were BRCA mutation-negative members of mutation-positive families or women with no prior breast cancer, a Pedigree Assessment Tool score <8 (i.e., low risk of a hereditary breast cancer syndrome) and a Gail score <1.67. A single experienced mammographer measured MD using a computer-assisted thresholding method. We collected standard breast cancer risk factor information in both studies. Unadjusted mean percent MD was higher in women with BRCA1/2 mutations compared with women at low-to-average breast cancer risk (37.3% vs. 33.4%; P = 0.04), but these differences disappeared after adjusting for age and body mass index (34.9% vs. 36.3%; P = 0.43). We explored age at menarche, nulliparity, age at first birth, menopausal status, number of breast biopsies, and exposure to exogenous hormonal agents as potential confounders of the MD and BRCA1/2 association. Taking these factors into account did not significantly alter the results of the age/body mass index-adjusted analysis. Our results do not provide support for an independent effect of BRCA1/2 mutation status on mammographic density.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-255
Number of pages11
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Volume123
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2010

Keywords

  • Breast cancer risk
  • Breast cancer screening
  • Gene, BRCA1
  • Gene, BRCA2
  • Genetic predisposition to disease
  • Mammographic density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Mammographic density does not differ between unaffected BRCA1/2 mutation carriers and women at low-to-average risk of breast cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this