A population-based cohort study of 36 856 women diagnosed with alcoholism in Sweden between 1965 and 1995 found that alcoholic women had only a small 15% increase in breast-cancer incidence compared to the general female population. It is therefore apparent, contrary to expectation, that alcoholism does not increase breast-cancer risk in proportion to presumed ethanol intake.
BACKGROUND: The incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma is increasing rapidly. Gastroesophageal reflux is a strong risk factor for this disease. The increase in incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma coincided with the introduction of medications that promote reflux by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), such as nitroglycerin, anticholinergics, beta-adrenergic agonists, aminophyllines, and benzodiazepines. OBJECTIVE: To test the possible association between use of LES-relaxing medications and risk for adenocarcinoma of the esophagus and gastric cardia. DESIGN: A nationwide population-based case-control study with in-person interviews. SETTING: Sweden, 1995 through 1997. PATIENTS: 189 patients with newly diagnosed esophageal adenocarcinoma, 262 with adenocarcinoma of the gastric cardia, and 167 with esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma were compared with 820 population-based controls. MEASUREMENTS: Estimated incidence rate ratios, calculated by using multivariate logistic regression from case-control data with adjustment for potential confounding. RESULTS: Past use of LES-relaxing drugs was positively associated with risk for esophageal adenocarcinoma. Among daily, long-term users (>5 years) of LES-relaxing drugs, the estimated incidence rate ratio was 3.8 (95% CI, 2.2 to 6.4) compared with persons who had never used these drugs. Drugs of all classes contributed to the increased risk, but the association was particularly strong for anticholinergics. Short-term use of other types of LES-relaxing drugs did not seem to be strongly associated with risk. The association almost disappeared after adjustment for reflux symptoms, indicating that promotion of reflux is the link between use of LES-relaxing drugs and esophageal adenocarcinoma. If 15,490 men in any age group take LES-relaxing drugs daily for 5 years, 1 additional case of adenocarcinoma would be expected (number needed to treat for harm); in men older than 60 years of age, the number needed to treat for harm is 5,570. Assuming a causal relation, about 10% of the esophageal adenocarcinomas occurring in the population may be attributable to intake of LES-relaxing drugs. Cardia adenocarcinoma and esophageal squamous-cell carcinoma were not associated with use of LES-relaxing drugs. CONCLUSIONS: The widespread use of LES-relaxing drugs may have contributed to the increasing incidence of esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Comment In: Ann Intern Med. 2000 Aug 1;133(3):227-910906839
BACKGROUND: Previous malignant melanoma studies regarding prognostic factors have often selected their patients from hospitals. Unfortunately, most of these studies have had small numbers of patients, consisted of short-term data sets, omitted important factors, did not optimize histopathologic classification, had too short or inadequate follow-up, and did not test their predictive models. PURPOSE: Our study goals were to identify independent clinical and histopathologic determinants of survival in malignant melanoma, to analyze changes in prognostic value over follow-up time, and, finally to construct a prognostic index. METHODS: A random sample from the Swedish Cancer Registry of the records of 498 (246 men and 252 women) patients defined by gender, five 5-year time periods of diagnosis from 1960 through 1984, and five anatomic sites formed the cohort on whom data were analyzed by univariate analyses. Multivariate analyses were based on data on 476 patients with complete information about all variables. All patients in the cohort had complete follow-up through December 31, 1989. Clinical information was abstracted and recorded as: date of diagnosis, stage at diagnosis, sex, age, anatomic site of primary tumor, date of death, and cause of death. Histopathologic slides were re-examined and classified with regard to histogenetic type, level of invasion, tumor thickness, ulceration, vascular invasion, regression, lymphocytic reaction, pre-existing nevus, and cell type. RESULTS: All variables, except pre-existing nevus and cell type, were significant predictors of survival. In the multivariate analyses including all variables, women still had a significant, 33% lower relative hazard than men. The prognosis was poor in the youngest age group. Patients with external ear, scalp-neck, and trunk-located melanoma had increasing relative hazard when all variables were included. Regional metastases and tumor thickness remained independent prognostic factors. No significant association between histogenetic type or level of invasion persisted. Patients whose tumors showed ulceration or vascular invasion had lower relative hazard when all variables were included. Level of invasion, tumor thickness, ulceration, and vascular invasion were significantly associated with the prognosis during both short- and long-term follow-up. The patients were subgrouped according to percentage fractions of their score on the prognostic index. Survival curves for these groups of patients were well separated, thus identifying patients with a low or high risk of death from malignant melanoma. CONCLUSION: The present population-based study identifies independent clinical and histopathologic predictors of survival in cutaneous malignant melanoma and emphasizes the role of histopathologic characteristics such as tumor thickness, ulceration, and vascular invasion besides anatomic site.
BACKGROUND: Cytologic screening and follow-up can reduce the incidence of cervical cancer by detection and removal of precursor lesions. It is unknown, however, whether differences in histopathologic criteria for these precursor lesions affect the benefit of screening. These criteria may be difficult to study, but they are likely to be reflected in reported incidence of in situ cancer in small areas of Sweden. PURPOSE: Our purpose was to test the hypothesis that the benefit of screening can be predicted by histopathologic criteria as reflected in the reported incidence of cancer in situ. METHODS: Incidence data were from the Swedish National Cancer Registry. Regression models showing the relationship between in situ and invasive cancer were formulated and estimated. Each county (total, 24) was a unit of measurement, and adjustment was made for the incidence of invasive cancer before screening. RESULTS: During population-based screening in Sweden, the incidence of cancer in situ varied about fourfold among the 24 counties, which indicates that the criteria used to diagnose cancer in situ differed markedly. No statistically significant (P
Comment In: J Natl Cancer Inst. 1993 Jul 7;85(13):1018-98515480
Cytologic screening for cervical cancer has proven to be beneficial in many countries, although the value of this intervention in women older than 50 years remains controversial. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficiency of detecting cancer in situ by means of a cytologic smear at different ages, with special emphasis on the benefit of screening in women above the age of 50. We analyzed 466,275 smears taken in an open cohort of 118,890 women in Sweden between 1969 and 1988. The number of cancers in situ detected per 1,000 smears, the detection ratio, was used as an outcome measure in univariate analyses and in multivariate regression models. Cancer in situ was detected in 1,076 women in the study cohort. The detection ratio peaked at ages 30 to 34 and decreased heavily during the next 15 years of age. The efficiency of taking smears at ages above 50 was only 20 per cent (OR, 0.19; 95% CI, 0.14-0.26) of that at ages 30 to 34. These results were not changed when adjusting for time period and time interval since the previous smear. In spite of a high incidence of invasive cervical cancer in older women, the benefit of cytologic screening to detect cancer in situ above the age of 50 is uncertain.
Epidemiological studies of in situ breast cancer are sparse, and the role of reproductive history, an established risk modifier for invasive breast cancer, remains incompletely investigated. To examine possible associations with parity and age at first birth, we undertook a case-control study nested in a nationwide cohort of Swedish women. The reproductive history of 1,368 women aged 65 or younger with a diagnosis of carcinoma in situ of the breast were compared with that of 6,837 age-matched controls drawn randomly from a population-based Fertility Registry. Statistical analyses were performed by conditional logistic regression. Compared to nulliparous women, ever-parous women were at a reduced risk of carcinoma in situ of the breast. The risk decreased with number of live births, with the estimated risk reduction in the highest parity group (5+), being of the same magnitude as that reported for invasive breast cancer. By contrast, a positive association with increasing age at first birth was somewhat less pronounced than that observed previously in the same data set with respect to invasive breast cancer. Our findings indicate that parity affects the risk of invasive breast cancer and carcinoma in situ similarly, whereas the effect of age at first birth appears to be weaker for the risk of carcinoma in situ.
Information about the etiology of childhood myeloid leukemia is limited. A population-based nested case-control study of prenatal and neonatal risk factors for childhood myeloid leukemia was performed with the use of the Swedish National Cancer Register and the Swedish Birth Register. A total of 98 cases of myeloid leukemia were identified in successive birth cohorts from 1973 through 1989. From the Birth Register, five controls were matched to each case. Fourteen of the 98 cases with myeloid leukemia and none of the controls had Down syndrome [odds ratio (OR) = infinity; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 21.0-infinity]. The risk for myeloid leukemia also increased among children who had physiological jaundice (OR = 2.5; 95% CI = 1.2-5.0; children who had been treated with phototherapy (OR = 7.5; 95% CI = 1.8-31.9); or who had been treated in an incubator (OR = 3.5; 95% CI = 1.2-10.2). Excluding cases with Down syndrome, however, decreased these risks, so that their 95% lower confidence interval included the no-effect value. Maternal age
The risk for endometrial cancer among women with breast cancer might increase following use of tamoxifen, recently classified as a carcinogen of the human endometrium. However, the strength of the association remains uncertain and it is unknown whether use of this drug--widely prescribed in Sweden since the mid-1980s--has had any measurable effect at the population level. We analyzed all cases of breast cancer (n = 131,614) detected in the nationwide Swedish Cancer Registry in 1958-93. Incident cases of endometrial cancer during follow-up were identified also through the Cancer Registry. Standardized incidence ratios (SIR) and their 95 percent confidence intervals (CI) were computed by use of nationwide rates of endometrial cancer, adjusted for age and calendar year. During follow-up of up to 35 years of the breast cancer cohort, 803 incident endometrial cancers were identified, yielding an overall SIR of 1.58 (CI = 1.47-1.70). In univariate analyses, there was no increase in SIR in recent years. However, the excess risk increased linearly with increasing age at breast cancer diagnosis (P trend
BACKGROUND. In retrospective studies of dietary habits and breast cancer risk, recall bias is a concern since diet has been publicized as a cause of breast cancer. METHODS. In a case-control study of diet and breast cancer risk nested within a cohort of women screened with mammography, we contrasted answers to a retrospective dietary interview with answers to a dietary questionnaire which was filled out before any diagnostic procedures for breast cancer were undertaken. The source population was all women aged 40-74 in two counties in Sweden invited to mammographic screening and asked to fill out a questionnaire before the screening. Cases and controls were subsequently defined -- matched on age, county of residence, and time of mammography -- and approached for an interview. RESULTS. In all, 265 cases and 431 controls participated in the study. Means of frequencies differed between the agreement in the questionnaire's and the interview's classifications of study subjects into quartiles of monthly intake varied between 31 percent and 57 percent. Kappa statistics in all food groups were below 0.41. In a regression analysis, case subjects with low responses on the questionnaire about intake of meat, snacks, and coffee and tea gave higher responses on interview than did controls who had low questionnaire responses for these food groups. The reverse was also true: cases' responses that were high on the questionnaire were lower on interview for these food groups than were controls' responses. CONCLUSIONS. We found few signs of recall bias, and the few indications of a differential misclassification that we found were not in food groups that have been publicly discussed as causes of breast cancer.
Recent research suggests that intrauterine exposures, perhaps factors that influence birth weight and other indicators of fetal growth, may affect future breast cancer risk. Because birth weight shows seasonal variation in Sweden, we assessed whether risk for breast cancer is associated with month of birth. The analyses included all 115,670 women, born between 1858 and 1968, who were reported to the Swedish Cancer Registry in 1958-89 as having breast cancer. Poisson regression models were used to examine the data. After adjustment for seasonality of number of live births in the population at risk, a significant seasonal pattern was identified for women born between 1880 and 1920. Women born in June had a 5% higher risk of breast cancer than those born in December. By contrast, there was no evidence of birth seasonality among 440,948 women with cancer at other sites. Exposures relevant to breast cancer risk later in life are unlikely to be related to month of birth. Thus, prenatal or early post-natal factors influence breast carcinogenesis, but the seasonal variation in these factors must have decreased over time.