Mammographic parenchymal patterns as indicators of breast cancer risk

Audrey F. Saftlas, John N. Wolfe, Robert N. Hoover, Louise A. Brinton, Catherine Schairer, Martine Salane, Moyses Szklo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Mammographic parenchymal patterns have been suggested as indicators of breast cancer risk. However, few well-controlled studies have used prediagnostic mammograms to determine the pattern classification. The authors studied 266 cases of breast cancer and 301 controls from 25 screening centers of the Breast Cancer Detection and Demonstration Project, a nationwide screening program conducted between 1973 and 1980 to evaluate the risk associated with mammographic patterns using mammograms taken four years before the detection of breast cancer. Mammograms of the cancerous breast of cases and of the lpsilateral breast in the control matched to each case were blindly assessed by one of the investigators (J. N. W.), originator of the mammographic pattern classification. The breast cancer odds ratio among women with the combined P2 + DY patterns, compared with women with the N1 pattern, was 2.8 (95% confI dence Interval (Cl): 1.6-5.1). This estimate of relative risk was comparable with the risk associated with other recognized breast cancer risk factors. The odds ratio among P2 + DY women with a first-degree family history of breast cancer was 5.5 (95% Cl: 2.6-11.8) compared with N1 women without a family history. These data provide additional evidence that mammographic patterns are indicators for subsequent development of breast cancer, particularly among women with a first-degree family history of this malignancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)518-526
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1989


  • Breast neoplasms
  • Hereditary diseases
  • Mammography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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