2018

Oral contraceptive use and breast cancer risk: retrospective and prospective analyses from a BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carrier cohort study

Authors : Lieske H. Schrijver, Håkan Olsson, Kelly-Anne Phillips, et al.; on behalf of EMBRACE, GENEPSO, BCFR, HEBON, kConFab and IBCCS.

JNCI Cancer Spectrum, Volume 2, Issue 2, 1 April 2018.

Experts group or program : Groupe génétique et cancer (GGC)

Background

For BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers, the association between oral contraceptive preparation (OCP) use and breast cancer (BC) risk is still unclear.

Methods

Breast camcer risk associations were estimated from OCP data on 6030 BRCA1 and 3809 BRCA2 mutation carriers using age-dependent Cox regression, stratified by study and birth cohort. Prospective, left-truncated retrospective and full-cohort retrospective analyses were performed.

Results

For BRCA1 mutation carriers, OCP use was not associated with BC risk in prospective analyses (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.08, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.75 to 1.56), but in the left-truncated and full-cohort retrospective analyses, risks were increased by 26% (95% CI = 6% to 51%) and 39% (95% CI = 23% to 58%), respectively. For BRCA2 mutation carriers, OCP use was associated with BC risk in prospective analyses (HR = 1.75, 95% CI = 1.03 to 2.97), but retrospective analyses were inconsistent (left-truncated: HR = 1.06, 95% CI = 0.85 to 1.33; full cohort: HR = 1.52, 95% CI = 1.28 to 1.81). There was evidence of increasing risk with duration of use, especially before the first full-term pregnancy (BRCA1: both retrospective analyses, P < .001 and P = .001, respectively; BRCA2: full retrospective analysis, P = .002).

Conclusions

Prospective analyses did not show that past use of OCP is associated with an increased BC risk for BRCA1 mutation carriers in young middle-aged women (40–50 years). For BRCA2 mutation carriers, a causal association is also not likely at those ages. Findings between retrospective and prospective analyses were inconsistent and could be due to survival bias or a true association for younger women who were underrepresented in the prospective cohort. Given the uncertain safety of long-term OCP use for BRCA1/2 mutation carriers, indications other than contraception should be avoided and nonhormonal contraceptive methods should be discussed.

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