Lee JM, Buist DS, Houssami N, Dowling EC, Halpern EF, Gazelle GS, Lehman CD, Henderson LM, Hubbard RA. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2015 Apr 22;107(7). pii: djv109. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djv109. Print 2015 Jul.



Earlier detection of second breast cancers after primary breast cancer (PBC) treatment improves survival, yet mammography is less accurate in women with prior breast cancer. The purpose of this study was to examine women presenting clinically with second breast cancers after negative surveillance mammography (interval cancers), and to estimate the five-year risk of interval-invasive second cancers for women with varying risk profiles.


We evaluated a prospective cohort of 15 114 women with 47 717 surveillance mammograms diagnosed with stage 0-II unilateral PBC from 1996 through 2008 at facilities in the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium. We used discrete time survival models to estimate the association between odds of an interval-invasive second breast cancer and candidate predictors, including demographic, PBC, and imaging characteristics. All statistical tests were two-sided.


The cumulative incidence of second breast cancers after five years was 54.4 per 1000 women, with 325 surveillance-detected and 138 interval-invasive second breast cancers. The five-year risk of interval-invasive second cancer for women with referent category characteristics was 0.60%. For women with the most and least favorable profiles, the five-year risk ranged from 0.07% to 6.11%. Multivariable modeling identified grade II PBC (odds ratio [OR] = 1.95, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.15 to 3.31), treatment with lumpectomy without radiation (OR = 3.27, 95% CI = 1.91 to 5.62), interval PBC presentation (OR = 2.01, 95% CI 1.28 to 3.16), and heterogeneously dense breasts on mammography (OR = 1.54, 95% CI = 1.01 to 2.36) as independent predictors of interval-invasive second breast cancers.


PBC diagnosis and treatment characteristics contribute to variation in subsequent-interval second breast cancer risk. Consideration of these factors may be useful in developing tailored post-treatment imaging surveillance plans.