Young-Onset Breast Cancer Outcomes by Time since Recent Childbirth in Utah

Zhenzhen Zhang, Solange Bassale, Sonali Jindal, Alison Fraser, Emily Guinto, Weston Anderson, Motomi Mori, Ken R. Smith, Pepper Schedin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Importance: Breast cancer diagnosed within 5 to 10 years after childbirth, called postpartum breast cancer (PPBC), is associated with increased risk for metastasis and death. Whether a postpartum diagnosis is an independent risk factor or a surrogate marker of cancer features associated with poor outcomes remains understudied. Objective: To determine whether diagnostic temporal proximity to childbirth is associated with features of breast cancer associated with poor outcomes, including tumor stage, estrogen receptor (ER) status, and risk for distant metastasis and breast cancer-specific mortality, using a population database from the state of Utah. Design, Setting, and Participants: This population-based cohort study using the Utah Population Database (UPDB) included individuals with stage I to III breast cancer diagnosed at age 45 years or younger between 1996 and 2017, followed-up until February 2020. Participant data were analyzed from November 2019 to August 2022. Exposure: The primary exposures were no prior childbirth or time between most recent childbirth and breast cancer diagnosis. Patients were grouped by diagnoses within less than 5 years, 5 to less than 10 years, or 10 years or more since recent childbirth. Main Outcomes and Measures: The 2 primary outcomes were distant metastasis-free survival and breast cancer-specific death. Cox proportional hazard models were used to investigate associations between exposures and outcomes adjusting for diagnosis year, patient age, tumor stage, and estrogen receptor (ER) status. Results: Of 2970 individuals with breast cancer diagnosed at age 45 years or younger (mean [SD] age, 39.3 [5.0] years; 12 Black individuals [0.4%], 2679 White individuals [90.2%]), breast cancer diagnosis within 5 years of recent childbirth was independently associated with approximately 1.5-fold elevated risk for metastasis (hazard ratio [HR], 1.5; 95% CI, 1.2-2.0) and breast cancer-specific death (HR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1-2.1) compared with nulliparous individuals. For cancers classically considered to have tumor features associated with good outcomes (ie, stage I or II and ER-positive), a postpartum diagnosis was a dominant feature associated with increased risk for metastasis and death (eg, for individuals with ER-positive disease diagnosed within <5 years of childbirth: age-adjusted metastasis HR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.1-2.1; P =.01; age-adjusted death HR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.0-2.1; P =.04) compared with nulliparous individuals. Furthermore, liver metastases were specifically increased in the group with diagnosis within 5 years postpartum and with positive ER expression (38 of 83 patients [45.8%]) compared with the nulliparous (28 of 77 patients [36.4%]), although the difference was not statistically significant. Overall, these data implicate parity-associated breast and liver biology in the observed poor outcomes of PPBC. Conclusions and Relevance: In this cohort study of individuals with breast cancer diagnosed at age 45 years or younger, a postpartum breast cancer diagnosis was a risk factor associated with poor outcomes. Irrespective of ER status, clinical consideration of time between most recent childbirth and breast cancer diagnosis could increase accuracy of prognosis in patients with young-onset breast cancer..

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E2236763
JournalJAMA Network Open
Volume5
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 14 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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