Objective: Predictors of intrinsic breast cancer subtypes, including the triple-negative (TN) subtype, are largely unknown. We evaluated whether anthropometrics, demographics, and reproductive history were associated with distinct breast cancer subtypes.
Methods: Invasive breast tumors from a population-based case-control study of 476 (116 black and 360 white) Atlanta women aged 20-54, diagnosed between 1990 and 1992, were centrally reviewed and immunohistochemically analyzed for estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2); then grouped [TN (ER-PR-HER2-); ER-PR-HER2+; ER/PR+HER2+; ER/PR+HER2- (case-only reference group)]. Data were from interviews and anthropometric measurements; adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using logistic regression, including both case-only and case-control comparisons.
Results: From the case-only analyses and compared with the ER/PR+HER2- subtype, women with TN tumors were more likely to be obese than normal/underweight [OR = 1.89 (95% CI = 1.22, 2.92)]. Regardless of HER2 status, ER-PR- tumors were associated with black race, young age at first birth, having a recent birth, and being overweight.
Conclusions: Distinct breast cancer subtypes have unique sociodemographic, anthropometric and reproductive characteristics and possibly different pathways for development.