PURPOSE: Studies of the etiology of inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), a rare but aggressive breast cancer, have been hampered by limited risk factor information. We extend previous studies by evaluating a broader range of risk factors.
METHODS: Between 2009 and 2015, we conducted a case-control study of IBC at six centers in Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco; enrolled were 267 IBC cases and for comparison 274 non-IBC cases and 275 controls, both matched on age and geographic area to the IBC cases. We administered questionnaires and collected anthropometric measurements for all study subjects. We used multiple imputation methods to account for missing values and calculated odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using polytomous logistic regression comparing each of the two case groups to the controls, with statistical tests for the difference between the coefficients for the two case groups.
RESULTS: After multivariable adjustment, a livebirth within the previous 2 years (OR 4.6; 95% CI 1.8 to 11.7) and diabetes (OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.1 to 3.0) were associated with increased risk of IBC, but not non-IBC (OR 0.9; 95% CI 0.3 to 2.5 and OR 0.9; 95% CI 0.5 to 1.6 for livebirth and diabetes, respectively). A family history of breast cancer, inflammatory-like breast problems, breast trauma, and low socioeconomic status were associated with increased risk of both tumor types.
CONCLUSIONS: We identified novel risk factors for IBC and non-IBC, some of which preferentially increased risk of IBC compared to non-IBC. Upon confirmation, these findings could help illuminate the etiology and aid in prevention of this aggressive cancer.