Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Timing of pubertal stages and breast cancer risk: the Breakthrough Generations Study
Authors: Bodicoat, Danielle H.
Schoemaker, M. J.
Jones, M. E.
McFadden, E.
Griffin, J.
Ashworth, A.
Swerdlow, A. J.
First Published: 4-Feb-2014
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: Breast Cancer Research, 2014, 16 (1), R18
Abstract: INTRODUCTION: Breast development and hormonal changes at puberty might affect breast cancer risk, but epidemiological analyses have focussed largely on age at menarche and not at other pubertal stages. METHODS: We investigated associations between the timing of pubertal stages and breast cancer risk using data from a cohort study of 104,931 women (Breakthrough Generations Study, UK, 2003-2013). Pubertal variables were reported retrospectively at baseline. Breast cancer risk was analysed using Cox regression models with breast cancer diagnosis as the outcome of interest, attained age as the underlying time variable, and adjustment for potentially confounding variables. RESULTS: During follow-up (mean = 4.1 years), 1094 breast cancers (including ductal carcinoma in situ) occurred. An increased breast cancer risk was associated with earlier thelarche (age when breast growth begins; HR [95% CI] = 1.23 [1.02, 1.48], 1 [referent] and 0.80 [0.69, 0.93] for ≤10, 11-12 and ≥13 years respectively), menarche (initiation of menses; 1.06 [0.93, 1.21], 1 [referent] and 0.78 [0.62, 0.99] for ≤12, 13-14 and ≥15 years), regular periods (0.99 [0.83, 1.18], 1 [referent] and 0.74 [0.59, 0.92] for ≤12, 13-14 and ≥15 years) and age reached adult height (1.25 [1.03, 1.52], 1 [referent] and 1.07 [0.87, 1.32] for ≤14, 15-16 and ≥17 years), and with increased time between thelarche and menarche (0.87 [0.65, 1.15], 1 [referent], 1.14 [0.96, 1.34] and 1.27 [1.04, 1.55] for <0, 0, 1 and ≥2 years), and shorter time between menarche and regular periods (1 [referent], 0.87 [0.73, 1.04] and 0.66 [0.50, 0.88] for 0, 1 and ≥2 years). These associations were generally similar when considered separately for premenopausal and postmenopausal breast cancer. CONCLUSIONS: Breast duct development may be a time of heightened susceptibility to risk of carcinogenesis, and greater attention needs to be given to the relation of breast cancer risk to the different stages of puberty.
DOI Link: 10.1186/bcr3613
ISSN: 1465-5411
eISSN: 1465-542X
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © 2014 Bodicoat et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
Timing of pubertal stages and breast cancer risk: the Breakthrough Generations Study..pdfPublished (publisher PDF)222.24 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

Items in LRA are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.