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QUESTION: In women with a family history of breast cancer, how does the pattern of breast cancer in first degree relatives affect the risk for developing the disease?
Studies were identified by searching computerised literature databases, reviewing bibliographies of review articles, and contacting experts in the field.
Selected studies were cohort or nested case control studies that included ≥ 100 women with incident invasive breast cancer, and information about reproductive or hormonal factors was sought on each woman.
Principal investigators of the included studies were contacted for data on each woman regarding whether any of her first degree female relatives (mother, sisters, or daughters) had been diagnosed with breast cancer and, if so, their age when the diagnosis was made. Data were also collected on the numbers of sisters and daughters of each woman and the ages of each unaffected first degree female relative.
52 published and 2 unpublished studies included 58 209 …