Breastfeeding and the risk of breast cancer in BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers

Joanne Kotsopoulos, Jan Lubinski, Leonardo Salmena, Henry T. Lynch, Charmaine Kim-Sing, William D. Foulkes, Parviz Ghadirian, Susan L. Neuhausen, Rochelle Demsky, Nadine Tung, Peter Ainsworth, Leigha Senter, Andrea Eisen, Charis Eng, Christian Singer, Ophira Ginsburg, Joanne Blum, Tomasz Huzarski, Aletta Poll, Ping SunSteven A. Narod, Mary Daly, Dawna Gilchrist, Taya Fallen, Albert Chudley, John Lunn, Talia Donenberg, Beth Karlan, Raluca N. Kurz, Jeffrey Weitzel, Howard Saal, Dana Zakalik, Susan Friedman, Judy Garber, Gad Rennert, Kevin Sweet, Ruth Gershoni-Baruch, Christine Rappaport, Edmond Lemire, Dominique Stoppa-Lyonnet, Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, Sofia Merajver, Louise Bordeleau, Carey A. Cullinane, Eitan Friedman, Wendy McKinnon, Marie Wood, Daniel Rayson, Wendy Meschino, Jane McLennan, Josephine Wagner Costalas, Robert E. Reilly, Tuya Pal, Susan Vadaparampil, Kenneth Offit, Mark Robson, Noah Kauff, Jan Klijn, Pal Moller, David Euhus, Ava Kwong, Claudine Isaacs, Fergus Couch, Siranoush Manoukian, Cezary Cybulski, Jacek Gronwald, Tomasz Byrski, Seema Panchal, Sonia Nanda, Kelly Metcalfe, Barry Rosen, Susan Randall, Adriana Valentini, Marcia Llacuachaqui, Alejandra Ragone, Jennifer Ng, Kristi De Buono, Kate Bisnaire, Dina Nikitina, Anneli Loo, Bita Khorram, Dina Gordon, Courtney May, Michelle Jones, Jose Miguel Lozano

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61 Scopus citations


Introduction: Breastfeeding has been inversely related to breast cancer risk in the general population. Clarifying the role of breastfeeding among women with a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation may be helpful for risk assessment and for recommendations regarding prevention. We present an updated analysis of breastfeeding and risk of breast cancer using a large matched sample of BRCA mutation carriers.Methods: We conducted a case-control study of 1,665 pairs of women with a deleterious mutation in either BRCA1 (n = 1,243 pairs) or BRCA2 (n = 422 pairs). Breast cancer cases and unaffected controls were matched on year of birth, mutation status, country of residence and parity. Information about reproductive factors, including breastfeeding for each live birth, was collected from a routinely administered questionnaire. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate the association between ever having breastfed, as well as total duration of breastfeeding, and the risk of breast cancer.Results: Among BRCA1 mutation carriers, breastfeeding for at least one year was associated with a 32% reduction in risk (OR = 0.68; 95% CI 0.52 to 0.91; P = 0.008); breastfeeding for two or more years conferred a greater reduction in risk (OR = 0.51; 95% CI 0.35 to 0.74). Among BRCA2 mutation carriers, there was no significant association between breastfeeding for at least one year and breast cancer risk (OR = 0.83; 95% CI 0.53 to 1.31; P = 0.43).Conclusions: These data extend our previous findings that breastfeeding protects against BRCA1-, but not BRCA2-associated breast cancer. BRCA mutation carriers should be advised of the benefit of breastfeeding in terms of reducing breast cancer risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberR42
JournalBreast Cancer Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 9 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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