Tumor characteristics and survival of breast cancer patients in relation to premorbid diet and body size
Data from a number of studies of breast cancer have suggested that after the ages associated with the menopause the rates of estrogen-receptor-positive tumours increase with age, whereas the rates of estrogen-receptor-negative tumours do not. Previous investigators studied cases in specific treatment centres, so there was a possibility that the findings were influenced by differences in patterns of case referral by age. A review of all the cases of breast cancer diagnosed in Ontario women in 1981 and assayed for estrogen receptors, however, confirmed the earlier findings. The results showed that the incidence of estrogen-receptor-positive and estrogen-receptor-negative tumours increased at about the same rate before age 45, but thereafter an increase in incidence was seen only for estrogen-receptor-positive tumours. These differences in patterns of incidence suggest the possibility that the two types of tumour may have different etiologic factors.