Bone mass and breast cancer risk in older women: differences by stage at diagnosis.

Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA.
JNCI Journal of the National Cancer Institute (Impact Factor: 15.16). 07/2001; 93(12):930-6. DOI: 10.1093/jnci/93.12.930
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Older women with low bone mineral density (BMD) have a decreased incidence of breast cancer. It is not known whether this association is confined to early-stage, slow-growing tumors.
We prospectively studied 8905 women who were 65 years of age or older during the period from 1986 through 1988 and had no history of breast cancer. At study entry, we used single-photon absorptiometry to measure each woman's BMD at three skeletal sites: the wrist, forearm, and heel. The women were followed for a mean of 6.5 years for the occurrence of breast cancer. All statistical tests were two-sided.
During 57 516 person-years of follow-up, 315 women developed primary invasive or in situ breast cancer. Multivariate analyses that adjusted for age, obesity, and other covariates revealed that the risk of breast cancer for women in the highest quartile of BMD for all three skeletal sites was 2.7 (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4 to 5.3) times greater than that for women in the lowest quartile at all three skeletal sites. The magnitude of increased risk associated with high BMD differed by the stage of disease at diagnosis and was greater for more advanced tumors (relative risk [RR] for TNM [i.e., tumor-lymph node-metastasis] stage II or higher tumors = 5.6; 95% CI = 1.2 to 27.4) than for early-stage disease (RR for in situ/TNM stage I tumors = 2.2; 95% CI = 1.0 to 4.8).
Elderly women with high BMD have an increased risk of breast cancer, especially advanced cancer, compared with women with low BMD. These findings suggest an association between osteoporosis and invasive breast cancer, two of the most prevalent conditions affecting an older woman's health.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Guidelines recommend individualizing screening mammography decisions for women aged 75 years and older. However, little pragmatic guidance is available to help counsel patients. To provide an evidence-based approach for individualizing decision-making about screening mammography in older women. We searched PubMed for English-language studies in peer-reviewed journals published from January 1, 1990, to February 1, 2014, to identify risk factors for late-life breast cancer in women aged 65 years and older and to quantify the benefits and harms of screening mammography for women aged 75 years and older. Age is the major risk factor for developing and dying from breast cancer. Breast cancer risk factors that reflect hormonal exposures in the distant past, such as age at first birth or age at menarche, are less predictive of late-life breast cancer than factors indicating recent hormonal exposures such as high bone mass or obesity. Randomized trials of the benefits of screening mammography did not include women older than 74 years. Thus it is not known if screening mammography benefits older women. Observational studies favor extending screening mammography to older women who have a life expectancy of more than 10 years. Modeling studies estimate 2 fewer breast cancer deaths/1000 women who in their 70s continue biennial screening for 10 years instead of stopping screening at age 69. Potential harms of continued screening over 10 years include false-positive mammograms in approximately 200/1000 women screened and overdiagnosis (ie, finding breast cancer that would not have clinically surfaced otherwise) in approximately 13/1000 women screened. Providing information about life expectancy along with potential benefits and harms of screening may help older women's decision-making about screening mammography. For women with less than a 10-year life expectancy, recommendations to stop screening mammography should emphasize increased potential harms from screening and highlight health promotion measures likely to be beneficial over the short term. For women with a life expectancy of more than 10 years, deciding whether potential benefits of screening outweigh harms becomes a value judgment for patients, requiring a realistic understanding of screening outcomes.
    JAMA The Journal of the American Medical Association 04/2014; 311(13):1336-47. · 29.98 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the association of bone mineral density (BMD) at the time of diagnosis with clinical-pathologic findings in patients with operable postmenopausal breast cancer. One hundred and fifty-eight postmenopausal women who had a baseline lumbar and hip BMD measurement were included in the analysis. Patients were divided into two groups based on the median BMD. p ≤ 0.002 was considered to be statistically significant. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) use longer than 5 years was associated with increased lumbar BMD compared with patients who used HRT less than 5 years (p = 0.002). Patients with higher BMD tended to have low grade disease, no lympho-vascular invasion, progesterone receptor-positive tumors, and low Ki-67 levels (p < 0.05). Higher baseline BMD in postmenopausal patients with breast cancer is associated with favorable prognostic features.
    The Breast Journal 05/2013; · 1.43 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Osteoporosis and breast cancer are common diseases in postmenopausal women. Bone and the breast are both estrogenic dependent tissues and different surrogate markers for osteoporosis are opposite of those for the risk of breast cancer. In particular, numerous studies have reported a positive relationship between high bone mineral density (BMD) and a greater risk of breast cancer. On the other hand, most treatments in early breast cancer women including ovarian suppression treatments (chemotherapy, surgery or GnRH agonists) and aromatase inhibitor (AI) therapy induce a profound and rapid suppression of estrogen levels thereby increasing the rate of bone loss. Nevertheless, their impact on the risk of fracture is still questionable, especially in postmenopausal women with no osteoporosis at baseline. The purpose of this minireview is to examine the relationship between breast cancer and the risk of fracture and to discuss a screening strategy for osteoporosis after breast cancer.
    Maturitas 09/2014; · 2.84 Impact Factor