Breast density and benign breast disease: Risk assessment to identify women at high risk of breast cancer

Jeffrey A. Tice, Diana L. Miglioretti, Chin Shang Li, Celine M. Vachon, Charlotte C. Gard, Karla Kerlikowske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Purpose Women with proliferative breast lesions are candidates for primary prevention, but few risk models incorporate benign findings to assess breast cancer risk. We incorporated benign breast disease (BBD) diagnoses into the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium (BCSC) risk model, the only breast cancer risk assessment tool that uses breast density. Methods We developed and validated a competing-risk model using 2000 to 2010 SEER data for breast cancer incidence and 2010 vital statistics to adjust for the competing risk of death. We used Cox proportional hazards regression to estimate the relative hazards for age, race/ethnicity, family history of breast cancer, history of breast biopsy, BBD diagnoses, and breast density in the BCSC. Results We included 1,135,977 women age 35 to 74 years undergoing mammography with no history of breast cancer; 17% of the women had a prior breast biopsy. During a mean follow-up of 6.9 years, 17,908 women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. The BCSC BBD model slightly overpredicted risk (expected-to-observed ratio, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.06) and had modest discriminatory accuracy (area under the receiver operator characteristic curve, 0.665). Among women with proliferative findings, adding BBD to the model increased the proportion of women with an estimated 5-year risk of 3% or higher from 9.3% to 27.8% (P < .001). Conclusion The BCSC BBD model accurately estimates women's risk for breast cancer using breast density and BBD diagnoses. Greater numbers of high-risk women eligible for primary prevention after BBD diagnosis are identified using the BCSC BBD model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3137-3143
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
Issue number28
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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