Change of mammographic density predicts the risk of contralateral breast cancer--a case-control study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


INTRODUCTION: Mammographic density is a strong risk factor for breast cancer, but it is unknown whether density at first breast cancer diagnosis and changes during follow-up influences risk of non-simultaneous contralateral breast cancer (CBC).

METHODS: We collected mammograms for CBC-patients (cases, N = 211) and unilateral breast cancer patients (controls, N = 211), individually matched on age and calendar period of first breast cancer diagnosis, type of adjuvant therapy and length of follow-up (mean follow-up time: 8.25 years). The odds of CBC as a function of changes of density during follow-up were investigated using conditional logistic regression, adjusting for non-dense area at diagnosis.

RESULTS: Patients who experienced ≥10% absolute decrease in percent density had a 55% decreased odds of CBC (OR = 0.45 95% CI: 0.24 to 0.84) relative to patients who had little or no change in density from baseline to first follow-up mammogram (mean = 1.6 (SD = 0.6) years after diagnosis), whereas among those who experienced an absolute increase in percent density we could not detect any effect on the odds of CBC (OR = 0.83 95% CI: 0.24 to 2.87).

CONCLUSION: Decrease of mammographic density within the first two years after first diagnosis is associated with a significantly reduced risk of CBC, this potential new risk predictor can thus contribute to decision-making in follow-up strategies and treatment.


  • Maria E. C. Sandberg
  • Jingmei Li
  • Per Hall
  • Mikael Hartman
  • Isabel Dos Santos Silva
  • Keith Humphreys
  • Kamila Czene
External organisations
  • Karolinska Institutet
  • A*Star, Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS)
Research areas and keywords


  • Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Breast Density, Breast Neoplasms, Case-Control Studies, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Humans, Mammary Glands, Human, Mammography, Middle Aged, Odds Ratio, Registries, Risk, Sweden, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Original languageEnglish
Article numberR57
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalBreast Cancer Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes