Objective: To estimate breast cancer risk associated with short-term (<6 months) oral contraceptive use, and explore variation in estimates by use characteristics and medical, menstrual, and reproductive history.
Methods: We analyzed data from the Women's Contraceptive and Reproductive Experiences Study. Case subjects were white women and black women, 35-64 years old, diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in July 1994-April 1998. Control subjects identified by random-digit dialing were matched to case subjects by age, race, and study site. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
Results: Overall, short-term oral contraceptive use was not associated with breast cancer risk (OR = 1.0; 95% CI = 0.8-1.1). However, significant interaction between short-term use and menopausal status led to an observed increased breast cancer risk in pre-menopausal women (OR = 1.3; 95% CI = 1.0-1.7) and a reduced risk in post-menopausal women (OR = 0.8; 95% CI = 0.6-1.0) associated with short-term use. The association was more pronounced in women with non-contraceptive reasons for use and underlying risk factors for breast cancer.
Conclusions: These associations may result from underlying characteristics of users or unmeasured factors influencing duration of use and breast cancer risk.