Breast cancer in postmenopausal women after non-melanomatous skin cancer: The Women's Health Initiative observational study

Mary Pressler, Carol A. Rosenberg, Benjamin A. Derman, Philip Greenland, Janardan Khandekar, Rebecca J. Rodabough, Anne McTiernan, Michael S. Simon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


An increased risk of breast cancer has been reported in patients with non-melanomatous skin cancer (NMSC), but this association has not been studied in a large, multi-geographic population. We utilized data from the Women's Health Initiative observational study to assess whether history of NMSC is associated with breast cancer risk. This analysis included 70,246 postmenopausal White and Hispanic women aged 50-79, in which 4,247 breast cancer cases were identified over a mean (SD) of 11.3 (3.2) years. Baseline information was collected on demographics, medical history, sun exposure, and vitamin D intake. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to calculate hazard ratios (HRs) with 95 % confidence intervals (CIs). The relationship between NMSC and breast cancer was examined as a time-dependent exposure using updated information on NMSC gathered during follow-up visits. All statistical tests were two sided. There were 5,595 women diagnosed with NMSC at study entry. The annualized rate of breast cancer was 0.64 % among women with a history of NMSC and 0.55 % among women with no history of NMSC. The multivariable-adjusted HR for breast cancer among women with a history of NMSC versus no history of NMSC was 1.07 (95 % CI 0.95-1.20, P = 0.27). Further evaluation stratified by tumor characteristics showed an increased risk of lymph node-positive disease, HR = 1.30 (95 % CI 1.01-1.67, P = 0.04), and regional-stage disease, HR = 1.33 (95 % CI 1.05-1.70, P = 0.02), among women with NMSC. There was no significant overall association between NMSC and breast cancer; however, there was an increased risk of more advanced-stage breast cancer which needs further exploration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-831
Number of pages11
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Breast cancer
  • Cancer risk
  • Cohort study
  • Non-melanomatous skin cancer
  • Women's Health Initiative

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Breast cancer in postmenopausal women after non-melanomatous skin cancer: The Women's Health Initiative observational study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this