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 Mellemkjær, 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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Objective 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. Methods 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. Results 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. Conclusion 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)839-846
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Acknowledgments This work was supported by National Cancer Institute (NCI) R01CA097397 and NCI U01CA083178. JNP was supported by NCI T32 CA009142.


  • BRCA1
  • BRCA2
  • Contralateral breast cancer
  • Reproductive factors


Dive into the research topics of 'Reproductive factors and risk of contralateral breast cancer by BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation status: Results from the WECARE study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this