Risk factors for inflammatory breast cancer and other invasive breast cancers

Catherine Schairer, Yan Li, Peter Frawley, Barry I. Graubard, Robert D. Wellman, Diana S M Buist, Karla Kerlikowske, Tracy L. Onega, William F. Anderson, Diana L Miglioretti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Background We investigated risk factors for inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), a rare, aggressive, and poorly understood breast cancer that is characterized by diffuse breast skin erythema and edema. Methods We included 617 IBC case subjects in a nested case-control study from the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium database (1994-2009). We also included 1151 noninflammatory, locally advanced, invasive breast cancers with chest wall/breast skin involvement (LABC), 7600 noninflammatory invasive case subjects without chest wall/ breast skin involvement (BC), and 93 654 control subjects matched to case subjects on age and year at diagnosis and mammography registry. We present estimates of rate ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) from conditional logistic regression analyses for each case group vs control subjects based on multiply imputed datasets. Results First-degree family history of breast cancer and high mammographic breast density increased risk of IBC, LABC, and BC. High body mass index (BMI) increased IBC risk irrespective of menopausal status and estrogen receptor (ER) expression; rate ratios for BMI 30 and greater vs BMI less than 25 were 3.90 (95% CI = 1.50 to 10.14) in premenopausal women and 3.70 (95% CI = 1.98 to 6.94) in peri/postmenopausal women not currently using hormones. BMI 30 and greater slightly increased risk of ER-positive BC (RR = 1.40; 95% CI = 1.11 to 1.76). Statistically significant reductions in risk of ER-negative IBC with older age at first birth and of ER-positive IBC with higher education were not seen for LABC and BC of the same ER status. Conclusions Different associations with BMI, age at first birth, and education between IBC and/or LABC and BC suggest a distinct etiology for IBC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1373-1384
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number18
StatePublished - Sep 18 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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