Cigarette smoking and the risk of breast cancer in women

A review of the literature

Paul Terry, Thomas E. Rohan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

230 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Animal experiments and in vitro studies have shown that compounds found in tobacco smoke, such as polycyclic hydrocarbons, aromatic amines, and N-nitrosamines, may induce mammary tumors. The findings of smoking-specific DNA adducts and p53 gene mutations in the breast tissue of smokers also support the biological plausibility of a positive association between cigarette smoking and breast cancer, as does the detection of carcinogenic activity in breast fluid. However, epidemiological studies conducted over the past few decades have variably shown positive, inverse, or null associations. To help reconcile the discrepant findings, epidemiologists have paid increasing attention to measures of exposure to tobacco smoke that might be of the greatest etiological importance, to aspects of the smoker that might modify the association between smoking and breast cancer risk, and to the potentially different associations that might exist with different types of breast tumors, such as those with and without estrogen or progesterone receptors. Overall, the results of these studies suggest that smoking probably does not decrease the risk and indeed suggest that there may be an increased breast cancer risk with smoking of long duration, smoking before a first full-term pregnancy, and passive smoking. These findings require confirmation in future studies, as do suggestions of increased risk among women with certain genotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)953-971
Number of pages19
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Volume11
Issue number10 I
StatePublished - Oct 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Smoking
Breast Neoplasms
Smoke
Tobacco
Breast
Nitrosamines
Tobacco Smoke Pollution
DNA Adducts
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
p53 Genes
Progesterone Receptors
Estrogen Receptors
Amines
Epidemiologic Studies
Genotype
Pregnancy
Mutation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Oncology

Cite this

Cigarette smoking and the risk of breast cancer in women : A review of the literature. / Terry, Paul; Rohan, Thomas E.

In: Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, Vol. 11, No. 10 I, 01.10.2002, p. 953-971.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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