Temporal changes in mammographic breast density and breast cancer risk among women with benign breast disease

Abstract Introduction Benign breast disease (BBD) and high mammographic breast density (MBD) are prevalent and independent risk factors for invasive breast cancer. It has been suggested that temporal changes in MBD may impact future invasive breast cancer risk, but this has not been studied among women with BBD. Methods We undertook a nested case–control study within a cohort of 15,395 women with BBD in Kaiser Permanente Northwest (KPNW; 1970–2012, followed through mid-2015). Cases (n = 261) developed invasive breast cancer > 1 year after BBD diagnosis, whereas controls (n = 249) did not have breast cancer by the case diagnosis date. Cases and controls were individually matched on BBD diagnosis age and plan membership duration. Standardized %MBD change (per 2 years), categorized as stable/any increase (≥ 0%), minimal decrease of less than 5% or a decrease greater than or equal to 5%, was determined from baseline and follow-up mammograms. Associations between MBD change and breast cancer risk were examined using adjusted unconditional logistic regression. Results Overall, 64.5% (n = 329) of BBD patients had non-proliferative and 35.5% (n = 181) had proliferative disease with/without atypia. Women with an MBD decrease (≤ − 5%) were less likely to develop breast cancer (Odds Ratio (OR) 0.64; 95% Confidence Interval (CI) 0.38, 1.07) compared with women with minimal decreases. Associations were stronger among women ≥ 50 years at BBD diagnosis (OR 0.48; 95% CI 0.25, 0.92) and with proliferative BBD (OR 0.32; 95% CI 0.11, 0.99). Discussion Assessment of temporal MBD changes may inform risk monitoring among women with BBD, and strategies to actively reduce MBD may help decrease future breast cancer risk.
Breast Cancer Research. 2024 Mar 26;26(1):52