Environment and Breast Cancer: Science Review

Evidence From Humans
Print this page
Relationships of serum carotenoids, retinol, alpha-tocopherol, and selenium with breast cancer risk: results from a prospective study in Columbia, Missouri (United States)
Dorgan, J. F., Sowell, A., Swanson, C. A., Potischman, N., Miller, R., Schussler, N., Stephenson, H. E., Jr. Cancer Causes Control. 1998. 9:1, 89-97.
Study design
Nested case-control
Funding agency
Not reported
Study Participants
Menopausal Status
The menopausal status of women included in this study is listed here.
Post menopausal and premenopausal combined
Number in Cohort
Controls 203/ Cohort: 6,426
Participant selection: Inclusion and exclusion criteria
Criteria used to select participants in the study.
Women participating in the Biological Markers Project (Breast Cancer Serum Bank in Columbia) who had at least four ml of serum remaining in the blood bank and who, at the time of blood collection, had no history of cancer other than nonmelanoma skin cancer
Exposure Investigated
Exposures investigated
Carotenoid and alpha-tocopherol
Exposure assessment comment
Single blood sample, median time from blood collection to diagnosis was 2.7 years with a range of 27 days to 9.5 years
Statistical Analysis
Ethnic groups with separate analysis
If this study provided a separate analysis by ethnic or racial group, the groups are listed here.
Confounders considered
Other breast cancer risk factors, such as family history, age at first birth, and hormone replacement therapy use, that were taken into account in the study.
Not considered: Parity, menopausal status, family history of breast cancer
Genetic characterization included
If the study analyzed relationships between environmental factors and inherited genetic variations, this field will be marked Yes. No, if not.
Description of major analysis
Adjusted OR with 95% CI, highest versus lowest quartile of serum concentration, subgroup for postmenopausal women, stratified by smoking status (effect modification), median follow-up of 2.7 years (27 days to 9.5 years), 2 year-latency analysis
Strength of associations reported
β carotene RR: 1.1 (0.5-2.8) (β carotene restricted to non-smoker RR =2.4 (0.9-6.3))
α tocopherol RR: 1.2 (0.5-2.8)
Results Comments
There was no evidence of a protective effect of beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol for breast cancer. Restriction of cases to women who were diagnosed after menopause did not alter results.
Author address
Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892-7374, USA.