Oral contraceptives and risk of familial breast cancer

Cancer Detect Prev. 2002;26(1):23-7. doi: 10.1016/s0361-090x(02)00004-1.


The risk of breast cancer of oral contraceptive (OC) use in 1423 women from families with hereditary/familial breast cancer recruited through a cancer family clinic was analyzed in a matched case-control study. Ninety-eight women tested positive for a BRCA1 mutation. Hazard ratio for ever use of OCs adjusted for other risk factors was 0.90 (95% confidence interval (CI) 0.68-1.18) in the total data set and 2.00 (0.36-10.9) in BRCA1 mutation carriers. We did not find evidence for interaction between BRCA1 mutation status and OC use on breast cancer risk. Recent users had a statistically significant increase in risk with hazard ratios of 1.99, 2.05, and 1.69 for up to 5, 10, and 15 years since last OC use, while users with more than 15 years since last use had a reduction of risk to 0.69 compared to never users. We conclude that the effects of OC use on breast cancer risk in familial breast cancer may be similar to the effects in the general population. For BRCA1 mutation carriers, the point estimate is a doubling of risk, but CI is wide and no conclusion may be drawn from this study alone.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Contraceptives, Oral / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Genes, BRCA1*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Population Surveillance
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors


  • Contraceptives, Oral