Reproductive factors, heterogeneity, and breast tumor subtypes in women of Mexican descent

Maria Elena Martinez*, Betsy C. Wertheim, Loki Natarajan, Richard Schwab, Melissa Bondy, Adrian Daneri-Navarro, Maria Mercedes Meza-Montenegro, Luis Enrique Gutierrez-Millan, Abenaa Brewster, Ian K. Komenaka, Patricia A. Thompson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Background: Published data support the presence of etiologic heterogeneity by breast tumor subtype, but few studies have assessed this in Hispanic populations. Methods: We assessed tumor subtype prevalence and associations between reproductive factors and tumor subtypes in 1,041 women of Mexican descent enrolled in a case-only, binational breast cancer study. Multinomial logistic regression comparing HER2 - tumors and triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) to luminal A tumors was conducted. Results: Compared with women with luminal A tumors, those with a later age at first pregnancy were less likely to have TNBC [OR, 0.61; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.39-0.95], whereas those with three or more fullterm pregnancies were more likely to have TNBC (OR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.10-2.55). A lower odds of TNBC was shown for longer menstruation duration, whether before first pregnancy (OR, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.65-0.93 per 10 years) or menopause (OR, 0.79; 95% CI, 0.69-0.91 per 10 years). Patients who reported breastfeeding for more than 12 months were over twice as likely to have TNBC than luminal A tumors (OR, 2.14; 95% CI, 1.24-3.68). Associations comparing HER2 - with luminal A tumors were weak or nonexistent except for the interval between last full-term pregnancy and breast cancer diagnosis. Conclusions: Findings show etiologic heterogeneity by tumor subtype in a population of Hispanic women with unique reproductive profiles. Impact: Identification of etiologically distinct breast tumor subtypes can further improve our understanding of the disease and help provide personalized prevention and treatment regimens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1853-1861
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes


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