Tubal ligation in relation to menopausal symptoms and breast cancer risk

Br J Cancer. 2013 Sep 3;109(5):1291-5. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2013.433. Epub 2013 Aug 6.


Background: Local inflammation after tubal ligation may affect ovarian function and breast cancer risk.

Methods: We analysed tubal ligation, menopausal characteristics, and breast cancer risk in the Sister Study cohort (N=50,884 women).

Results: Tubal ligation was associated with hot flashes (hazard ratio (HR) 1.09; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.06-1.12) but not menopausal age (HR 0.99; 95% CI: 0.96-1.02). Tubal ligation did not have an impact on breast cancer overall (HR 0.95; 95% CI: 0.85-1.06), but had a suggested inverse relation with oestrogen receptor+/progesterone receptor+ invasive tumours (HR 0.84; 95% CI: 0.70-1.01), possibly because of subsequent hysterectomy/bilateral oophorectomy.

Conclusion: Tubal ligation does not influence overall breast cancer risk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hot Flashes
  • Humans
  • Inflammation
  • Menopause / physiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sterilization, Tubal / adverse effects*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires