Cancer-specific Studies in the NCI Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics
Women’s Interview Study of Health (WISH)
This population-based case-control study included women under the age of 45, emphasizing breast cancer risk in relation to the use of oral contraceptives, dietary and physical activity patterns early in life, and alcohol consumption. The study was conducted in Seattle, WA, Atlanta, GA, and five counties of central New Jersey. Current usage of oral contraceptives was related to risk of early-onset cancers. Alcohol usage was also found to increase risk, particularly for advanced tumors. Obesity was found to be inversely related to breast cancer risk among these younger women.
Physical Activity and Post-Menopausal Breast Cancer Risk
The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study investigated the relations of light and moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity during four periods of life to post-menopausal breast cancer risk. A high level of recent, but not historical, physical activity of moderate-to-vigorous intensity was associated with reduced postmenopausal breast cancer risk. Physical activity was also associated with reduced post-menopausal breast cancer risk in women with estrogen receptor-negative tumors.
Breast Cancer in Asian-American Women
A population-based case-control study has investigated differences in risk by migration history, anthropometry, menstrual and reproductive factors, diet, alcohol, smoking, and endogenous hormones. Researchers discovered a six-fold gradient in breast cancer risk by migration history within the study population. Increased adult adiposity, weight change, and increased height were all strong predictors of breast cancer risk.
Breast Cancer in Polish Women
This population-based case-control study combined state-of-the-art techniques of exposure assessment and collection of biological specimens to allow for the study of a wide range of biomarkers. Analyses are underway to examine the role of energy balance and breast cancer risk.
Male Breast Cancer Pooling Project
The NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study recently identified important relationships with obesity and physical inactivity to male breast cancer risk, suggesting the importance of hormonal and other metabolic factors. The NCI Cohort Consortium has research underway to use pooled data from several studies to more fully understand the etiology of male breast cancers.