• contralateral breast carcinoma;
  • mortality;
  • prognostic factors;
  • first primary;
  • second primary



Tumor characteristics are strong predictors of survival among women with breast carcinoma, yet the variability in prognosis among women presenting with similar stages suggests other factors may also play an important role. We examine the prognostic significance of etiologic risk factors for breast carcinoma to determine whether factors that influence the development of breast carcinoma also affect the course of the disease among a prospective cohort of young women with bilateral breast carcinoma.


The 369 U.S. women included in this study were from the Cancer and Steroid Hormone Study who were diagnosed with an invasive first primary breast carcinoma between 1980 and 1982 and a second primary breast carcinoma before 1999. Cox proportional hazards models were used to evaluate factors known and suspected to be associated with breast carcinoma and with survival, based on reporting at the time of the first primary.


One hundred sixty women died during the 16–18-year follow-up period. The adjusted 1, 5, 10, and 15-year survival rates following diagnosis of second primary breast carcinoma were 94%, 70%, 55%, and 49%, respectively. Survival rates werepoorest among the youngest women, those diagnosed with a second primary within 5 years of their first, poor African American women, women with either primary diagnosed at a later stage, those with less than 12 years of school, single women, and those with major weight gain between age 18 and adulthood.


This study provided little evidence that important etiologic factors for breast carcinoma predict mortality following diagnosis of a second primary breast carcinoma. Cancer 2002;95:2051–8. © 2002 American Cancer Society.

DOI 10.1002/cncr.10950