We have examined the relationship between all-cause mortality and various hormonal and other factors in over 1,200 women with breast cancer recruited into 2 consecutive case-control studies between 1969 and 1984. The age at diagnosis ranged from 24 to 59 years, and the majority (74%) were pre-menopausal at diagnosis. Analyses were based on follow-up to 1 January 1994, by which time 608 (50%) of the women had died. Of the factors examined, weight was most strongly associated with survival, with a significant increase in the risk of death with increasing weight. Two hormonal factors, time since last birth and time since last oral contraceptive use, were also independently associated with survival. All of these associations remained after adjustment for stage and histological nodal status. Our findings provide new evidence to suggest that reproductive factors and exogenous hormones in the form of oral contraceptives may influence survival in women with breast cancer, even after differences in stage and nodal status have been taken into account.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.