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Tobacco and Alcohol in Relation to Male Breast Cancer: An Analysis of the Male Breast Cancer Pooling Project Consortium

The etiology of male breast cancer is poorly understood, partly due to its relative rarity. Although tobacco and alcohol exposures are known carcinogens, their association with male breast cancer risk remains ill-defined. The Male Breast Cancer Pooling Project consortium provided 2,378 cases and 51,959 controls for analysis from 10 case-control and 10 cohort studies. Individual participant data were harmonized and pooled. Unconditional logistic regression was used to estimate study design-specific (case-control/cohort) ORs and 95% confidence intervals (CI), which were then combined using fixed-effects meta-analysis. Cigarette smoking status, smoking pack-years, duration, intensity, and age at initiation were not associated with male breast cancer risk. Relations with cigar and pipe smoking, tobacco chewing, and snuff use were also null. Recent alcohol consumption and average grams of alcohol consumed per day were also not associated with risk; only one subanalysis of very high recent alcohol consumption (>60 g/day) was tentatively associated with male breast cancer (ORunexposed referent = 1.29; 95% CI, 0.97-1.71; OR>0-<7 g/day referent = 1.36; 95% CI, 1.04-1.77). Specific alcoholic beverage types were not associated with male breast cancer. Relations were not altered when stratified by age or body mass index. In this analysis of the Male Breast Cancer Pooling Project, we found little evidence that tobacco and alcohol exposures were associated with risk of male breast cancer. Tobacco and alcohol do not appear to be carcinogenic for male breast cancer. Future studies should aim to assess these exposures in relation to subtypes of male breast cancer.

Authors: Cook MB; Van Den Eeden SK; Brinton LA; et al.

Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2015 Mar;24(3):520-31. Epub 2014-12-16.

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