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Arch Hellen Med, 32(5), September-October 2015, 556-565


Pregnancy-associated breast cancer
Risk factors assessment as an important diagnostic modality

Ι. Kakoulidis,1 E. Politi2
1Postgraduate Program "Research on Female Reproduction", School of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Athens
2Department of Cytopathology, "Aretaieion" University Hospital, Athens, Greece

The incidence of pregnancy-associated breast cancer (PABC) is increasing, and it is becoming one of the most frequent types of cancer occurring during pregnancy. The influence of pregnancy on the risk of breast cancer is dependent on several maternal features related to reproductive, genetic and hormonal factors. In view of large-scale changes in women's life style and childbearing trends worldwide, it has become urgent for healthcare providers to reform their diagnostic management. A thorough analysis of the risk factors that contribute to the association between pregnancy and breast cancer is essential at the level of reproduction, genetics and hormonal interactions. This review covers a variety of factors related to PABC, including age at menarche and maternal age, in addition to parity, number of births, birth interval and breastfeeding, which are key factors in breast cancer risk assessment. The "menarche to first birth" time interval, along with expression of hormonal receptors and underlying compound genetic influences, are also crucial in the initiation and pathogenesis of PABC. This review aims to define the relationship and possible interactions between these factors, modifying diagnostic management and advancing the assessment of PABC risk factors as an important diagnostic modality. Search of Medline/PubMed and Google Scholar databases provided a total of 45 eligible English language articles up to November 2014. Studies focusing mainly on epidemiological, clinical, pathological and diagnostic aspects of PABC were selected, and in particular those published in recent years. The reference lists of these articles were searched for additional articles of relevance, yielding a total of 66 to be included in this review.

Key words: Diagnosis, Hormone receptors, PABC, Pregnancy associated, breast cancer, Reproductive risk factors.

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