Survival and disease-free survival by breast density and phenotype in interval breast cancers

Maria Sala, Laia Domingo, Javier Louro, Isabel Tora-Rocamora, Marisa Bare, Joana Ferrer, Maria Carmen Carmona-Garcia, Teresa Barata, Marta Roman, Francesc Macia, Xavier Castells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 American Association for Cancer Research. Background: We aimed to evaluate survival and disease-free survival in different subtypes of interval cancers by breast density, taking into account clinical and biological characteristics. Methods: We included 374 invasive breast tumors (195 screen-detected cancers; 179 interval cancers, classified into true interval, false-negatives, occult tumors and minimal-sign cancers) diagnosed in women ages 50–69 years undergoing biennial screening from 2000–2009, followed up to 2014. Breast density was categorized into non-dense (<25% dense tissue) and mixed dense breasts (25%). Survival curves were generated by the Kaplan–Meier method and compared by the log-rank test. Cox proportional hazard regression models were computed to estimate the adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for death and recurrences by comparing women with interval and true interval cancers versus women with screen-detected cancers, controlling for tumor and patient characteristics. All analyses were stratified by breast density. Results: Interval cancers were detected in younger women, at more advanced stages, in denser breasts and showed a higher proportion of triple-negative cancers, especially among true interval cancers. Women with interval cancer and non-dense breasts had an aHR for death of 3.40 (95% CI, 0.92–12.62). Women with true interval cancers detected in non-dense breasts had the highest adjusted risk of death (aHR, 6.55; 95% CI, 1.37–31.39). Conclusions: Women with true interval cancer in non-dense breasts had a higher risk of death than women with screen-detected cancers. Impact: These results support the advisability of routinely collecting information on breast density, both for further tailoring of screening strategies and as a prognostic factor for diagnosed breast cancers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)908-916
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


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